Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

Missy’s zumba exercise

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Missy is chimpanzee-oriented, meaning she often chooses to groom or play chase with her chimpanzee friends over the humans (but we love that!) Every once in awhile she engages in fairly rambunctious chase or tug-o-war and will even quietly groom with caregivers on occasion. Times with Missy are a special treat for all of us! Today was no exception. She and Joel played a pretty fun game of chase. It seemed like Missy turned it into a sort of zumba-like exercise. Be sure to watch all the way to the end!

Foxie on a troll stroll

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Foxie takes her dolls with her almost everywhere. She holds them during meal times, she plays with them (both on her own and with friends), and she rests with them. She even takes them on brief outings onto Young’s Hill. A lot of times she carries them on her back like a mother chimp would carry their infant around, but sometimes she is able to manage with them in her hand or mouth as she walks. In the last photo, you’ll see she’s rubbing the troll’s belly as they head back into the greenhouse.

Though it can seem endearing how Foxie loves her dolls, it’s also a sad reminder that Foxie was never able to keep a baby of her own.

Foxie was used as a breeder in the lab. When she was just 10 years old, she gave birth to twins, David and Steve. Steve is deceased, but David is currently living at Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. Foxie had two other babies, Angie (who now thankfully lives at Save the Chimps in Florida) and Kelsey (who lives at APF like David).

Though we can never make up for all that Foxie has lost, we are so glad that in sanctuary she has found a great deal of happiness and companionship in her dolls.





Sanctuary is love.

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Today has been all about love! We threw a big party in the greenhouse for Valentine’s Day with the help of decorations and enrichment donated by Lisa S., Carol M., and volunteer Patti—plus delicious food donated by Anne R. and Patti, including some tasty buckwheat waffles with walnuts and carrots. They smelled delicious! Patti excluded the sugar and salt from the recipe, but the chimpanzees didn’t mind one bit. They wolfed them down!

Here’s some photos from the set-up:


During the party, Foxie started to whimper a little bit. Jamie swooped in and comforted her and even shared a waffle piece with her. Now that is love! Jamie is the boss of the group, and in the chimp world, that means she doesn’t have to share anything if she doesn’t want to. In fact, she can take anything from anyone to assert her dominance. So for her to share something with Foxie is a true gesture of friendship.

Negra especially loved the waffles:



Jamie loved the drinks—we had red gatorade watered down plus smoothie in little shot glasses!










We all appreciate your gestures of friendship and love for the chimpanzees and are blown away with how we surpassed our Share the Chimp Love goal! It warms our hearts to know that these chimpanzees mean so much to all of you that you would share your generosity with them.


note: Patty Clark’s name should have also been included in the heart above!


You all have played a part in a second chance at life for these chimpanzees.

As supporter Kathleen C. put it in her sponsor-a-day message for today, “Sanctuary is love.” Just watch the video below to see how much love they had for sanctuary today!



And here’s the final Share the Chimp Love image of what love is for Negra

Love is for Negra

Take Action Tuesday: When “cute” animals reveal an ugly truth

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

If you’re reading this, you probably have a love of animals, so when you see videos and photos of animals that make you laugh or melt your heart, you want to share them. Us too! Unfortunately, there’s often an ugly truth behind “cute” videos and photos.

A prime example is the slow loris videos that have circulated. The slow loris is such an adorable primate, and the videos seem to show these animals in a happy environment. But the ugly truth is that these endangered animals are part of the illegal exotic pet trade and the behaviors that may look cute to us are actually signs of fear and stress.

A new example is the Android commercial called “Friends Furever” promoting unlikely animal friendships. Upon first glance, the video clips seem like a heartwarming example of friendship breaking the species barrier, and your first instinct might be to share the commercial with other animal lovers. The ugly reality is that exotic animals such as the orangutan and the elephant seen in the commercial are trained at a very young age (when they should be with their mothers) to pose for photos with humans, and they are forced into relationships with other species for the sole purpose of creating and circulating “cute” photos and videos. The orangutan, Suryia, and the elephant, Bubbles, both live at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.


Myrtle Beach Safari, operated by Bhagavan (Doc) Antle, has a history of repeated animal welfare violations. Masked behind what they claim is a sanctuary preserve, the facility regularly exploits their wild animals for a variety of media productions and endangers the public by offering “hands-on” experiences and traveling shows. Apes are wild animals, and without proper enclosures and respect for their true nature, many have attacked and brutally mauled humans.

Just last summer, two young chimpanzees were taken to a movie theater to garner attention for the Safari. Recently, these same chimpanzees, Vali and Sugriva, were seen on an episode of A&E’s Wild Transport, where they were taken to a crowded restaurant—creating yet another public safety risk just for a glorified publicity stunt.


In that episode, Vali and Sugriva were being transported to a facility in Miami called Jungle Island, where they have special “hands-on” encounters with guests, sometimes celebrities, which gains even more attention for the Safari.

After speaking with Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the issues surrounding Vali and Sugriva’s appearance in the show, the A&E Network decided to cancel the series—setting a precedent for other companies to follow.

Unfortunately, actress Hayden Panettiere very recently posted a photo to her Twitter account of her holding the chimpanzee Vali at Jungle Island.


Images like this with humans in contact with chimpanzees perpetuate the misunderstanding about chimpanzees’ true nature and encourage the exotic pet industry.

Vali, Sugriva, Suryia, and dozens of other exotic animals under Antle’s care are living at a romanticized roadside zoo. These animals deserve better—they deserve a true sanctuary home where they can live out their lives without being shuffled from one exhibition to another.

Companies such as Pfizer have responded favorably when they learned the truth about Myrtle Beach Safari. We’d like to call upon Android to make the same compassionate decision.

We urge you to write to Android and Hayden Panettiere and ask that they remove any material that misinforms the public and promotes the Safari.

You can leave comments on Android’s Facebook page or the post of the Friends Furever video, reply to their tweet on Twitter about the commercial, and reply to Panettiere’s photo on Twitter as well. You can also email Panettiere, c/o her publicist, at . We’ve provided examples of what to write below.

In the big picture, when you see “cute” photos and videos of animals, ask yourself where these animals came from, where they are living now, what their future is likely to be like, and if the behaviors you see are the choice of the animal. You might be able to search and find the answers to these questions, or you might be left with more questions. When in doubt, don’t hit that share or forward button, because you might just be perpetuating exploitative, dangerous, or illegal activity.

Sample Facebook comment to Android:

I was disappointed to see that your new “Friends Furever” commercial promotes pseudo-sanctuaries such as Myrtle Beach Safari, where “unlikely animal friendships” like Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the dog are forced after exotic animals are taken from their mothers at a very young age. In the wild, baby orangutans stay with their mothers until they are eight years old, so you can imagine how important that bond is for them. Not only does the Safari mislead the public into believing that these are “cute” relationships, but they also regularly put people at risk with public exhibitions of wild animals and exploit the animals for entertainment—things a reputable sanctuary would never do. This glorified roadside zoo has also had numerous animal welfare violations (

You’re not the first to be duped by this pseudo-sanctuary. Pfizer chose to alter a Robitussin commercial that was originally aired using Suryia, replacing the live animal scenes with realistic, high-tech computer generated images after they learned the truth behind the Safari. I urge you to make the same decision involving the clips of the exotic animals in your commercial. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sample Tweet to Android:

@Android please change #AndroidBFFs ad to exclude clips of animals in roadside zoos. Robitussin did it before! See more at

@Android “cute” #AndroidBFFs animals reveal an ugly truth. Don’t glorify roadside zoos! See more at

*Sample email to Hayden Panettiere:

Dear Ms. Panettiere,

I know that you are an animal lover and have spoken out about the dolphin slaughter in Japan. I applaud you for your passion! Because of your obvious concern for animals, I was shocked and disappointed to see a photo of you and a baby chimpanzee named Vali circulating social media. You should know that when people see you holding a baby chimpanzee it perpetuates the cruel pet and entertainment industries. Baby chimpanzees belong with their mothers, and they shouldn’t be shuffled around to exhibitions or hands-on encounters. Vali was reportedly purchased from an animal breeder, and he belongs in a true sanctuary where the focus would be on his needs, not the desire of the public to have photo-ops with him. I urge you to please remove the photo from your social media and pledge to never participate in hands-on experiences with captive wild animals again.

Sample Tweets to Hayden Panettiere:

@haydenpanettier please remove the photo of you and Vali the chimp. He deserves better! Learn more

@haydenpanettier love chimpanzees like you love dolphins – don’t participate in their exploitation!

RT! Tell @haydenpanettier to remove photo of her w/ chimp – they’re wild animals & shouldn’t be used for publicity.

Lastly, please share this alert with friends and family. Change can only happen with more awareness! Thank you for speaking up for apes in need.

*If you email Hayden, please remember to BCC for tracking purposes. Thank you!!

The favorite spot

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

As I was walking around Young’s Hill with Jamie the other day, I was thinking about how she’s created a trail for herself (JB does mow the grass down during the summer, but there’s still a beaten path where Jamie walks several times a day) and it reminded me of when I visited the Louvre in Paris many years ago. One of the stairwells had worn down on one spot on each step because so many people walked that path every day. The favorite spot. I’m not really sure why I was thinking about that, but maybe because it’s just another way chimpanzees and humans are alike—we find a path we like taking, and stick with it.

The favorite spot phenomenon doesn’t just apply to pathways, but also places to rest or eat. Jamie has a few favorite spots, depending on the activity at hand. For her morning snack in the front rooms she likes to sit on her barrel in room 2, and she almost never strays from that spot for that activity. Foxie and Burrito both like to sit up on the lazy susans, and Negra will sit on a blanket just below.

Missy, Jody, and Annie all sort of move around during meals, but they do have favorite spots for resting. Annie and Missy like the catwalk by the bridge—it’s a popular spot for grooming. Negra has two favorite spots—her summer spot in front of one of the catwalk windows, and her winter spot in the middle of the loft. Jamie likes to rest in the corner of room 3 against the fencing, or near the playroom door. And Jody likes the bench in room 4—as we’ve dubbed it, “the portrait studio” because it has really great lighting. We have lots of photos of Jody lying down in this spot, both snacking on browse like cattails or bamboo, and taking a quick nap in a blanket nest.

web Jody lay blankets nest bed front room IMG_3817

web Jody lie on bench troll in pelvic pocket look at camera front room 4 FR IMG_3058



web jody nest blankets sleep front rooms IMG_0216


Jody nesting


Whatever it is that motivates us to find our favorite spots—they represent comfort and safety, which is something that is so valuable for ex-biomedical chimpanzees. This is their second chance at life, and what better way to spend their day than in the comfort of their own home.

Watch the video below to see more ways the chimpanzees find comfort in their sanctuary home, and please Share the Chimp Love!

What to write after 2,701 posts?

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

I just checked – as of this morning, we have published a total of 2,701 posts on this blog! When we started to write about the chimps, even before they arrived at the sanctuary, I wondered if we would run out of ideas at some point. Would  the days become routine and after a few years, we’d be scrambling for something to share?

I laugh now at that thought. Today, I had no fewer then nine ideas for the blog, and I’m still not sure what to chose! Some are timely – our WA State Seahawks are playing in the Superbowl tomorrow, so it would be fun to share some photos of Seahawks parties, like this one of Burrito, who had the best Blue Friday with some streamers last year (video here).

Burrito with streamers

and we’re going to launch a super fun Share the Chimp Love campaign in just a couple of days, and I just happened to get a photo of Negra with a “love” blanket, so I could share that photo, even though it’s not the best quality, and maybe tease that there’s special perks involved with this campaign, one of which involves Negra.

Negra under love blanket

I also got some cute video of Annie and Missy playing on the catwalk earlier. I was thinking about learning how to make an animated gif file, or maybe use their play session for a vine video, but I’m running out of time – dinner is in less than half an hour.

I also thought about finding photos of the chimpanzees that have a particular “hopeful” look that I love so much and talking a bit about the State of the Sanctuary email/video we sent out to e-news subscribers a couple of days ago.

Then again, I was thinking I really wanted to do a post about Jody, because she doesn’t get quite as much attention as some of the other chimpanzees. And I just happened to get a few photos of her today.

The main reason we don’t post as much about Jody is she is more elusive. Jamie is always right there, and really the same with Foxie and Burrito – they are all so human (and/or food) oriented, that we just naturally interact with them more and therefore have move photos and videos.

Then there’s Negra, who doesn’t move around as much, has that amazing droopy lip, and is just darn photogenic. I almost forgot! that was another post idea – I have a few photos of Negra from last week that haven’t been posted yet (I think I’ll save them).

And let’s face it, Missy and Annie play so frequently, we could probably get video of them and their antics everyday.

But Jody is very independent. She does love meal time (and has an amazing “hopeful” look), but once the meal is over, she’s off doing her own thing. During the summers we sometimes “lose” her on the hill because she’ll just go off exploring alone. And she likes to be up high, making photos a bit more difficult.

She is so full of personality, just like all of the Cle Elum Seven, and I have a lot of admiration for her. She went through more than I could have endured during her time in biomedical research, but she is a survivor.

Today, after cleaning the playroom, Debbie and I thought that Jody might get to work right away taking apart the blanket forts that we put together, as she has in the past. Instead, she got some alfalfa cubes, laid down perfectly on the new bridge under one of the new playroom lights between two blankets hanging above her, and just relaxed.

Jody in triangle of blankets Jody up close


So, I don’t know – what do you think I should post to the blog today?


Missy’s athletic prowess

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Missy is a very athletic individual. She especially loves to run, and if she accompanies Jamie on a walk around the hill, she will usually pause for a minute and let Jamie get ahead—just so she can sprint to catch up. She often has a playface when running around Young’s Hill, so she clearly gets a lot of joy from it. I would imagine after decades in a lab it must feel so freeing.

In between sprints, Missy will take brief moments to look across the valley surrounding the sanctuary. Sometimes she likes to climb up to a high perch in order to take in the view. The other day I was able to get a photo of Missy on one of the high posts, but only for a minute before she scrambled down to the ground for some more running. It’s very impressive to watch her climb down one of these posts!

Missy sit on post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post and eat snow

Dashing Burrito

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I’ll never tire of seeing this guy in our “portrait studio” — the place in the chimp house with a lot of great natural lighting. Just check these out!






A day of sanctuary and service

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Today is observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the States and both Katharine Moody, and a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous, chose to sponsor this date as a day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees. Today means many things to many people. It is a day that honors Dr. King’s contribution to humankind and it represents the belief in freedom, equality, and justice for all through non-violent social change. To further honor Dr. King’s legacy, in 1994, Congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of community service – “a day on, not a day off.” We are honored that our two sponsors thought of making a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives on this day. Thank you so much, to both of you!

Katharine shared this amazingly kind message with us: “Thank you! I would not have had the opportunity to do this without you and your efforts.”

And our anonymous supporter shared this special message: “I chose this day because it represents the increased freedom experienced by the Cle Elum 7 when they were transferred from the research facility. It brings me near tears to see them roaming the hillside and lying on their backs eating grass without signs of fear. I am honored to be able to help serve each and every one of them.”

Jody enjoying a quiet moment with bamboo she harvested from Young’s Hill:

web_Jody_eat_bamboo_2_GH_jb_IMG_4287 We truly value each and every one of our supporters. We could never fully express the gratitude we have for being given the privilege of providing the chimpanzees with their lives in sanctuary. There are countless individuals and organizations, all doing incredible work, making a real difference in the lives of others, that you could choose to support and knowing this makes us feel all the more honored and full of gratitude.

Every single one of us has something valuable to give, a way to be of service and support to all living beings. Each of us is rich in this respect. And whatever inspires your compassion, makes your heart sing, follow that. Because ultimately, it benefits us all.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Jamie and Missy (background) on Young’s Hill:


Bridge construction

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

In our 2014 year-end letter, Diana mentioned that Jamie had taken it upon herself to begin demolition on the bridge in the playroom between the loft and the catwalk. Though we ordered materials for a more long-lasting bridge right away, there was a hang up with the shipping and we finally got the materials just last week! JB began the new bridge construction today:





This project proved to be pretty enriching—the chimps have been watching JB’s work from the front rooms:


Jamie and Foxie:


Elizabeth and I helped JB figure out just how to get the panels up to the second floor (it was more challenging than it seemed at first!) and we managed to get half of the bridge done today. The chimps were super curious about the new set-up, and spent some time inspecting. Missy displayed a little bit on top of it, stomping and testing the sturdiness. I think it passed her test!


Soon, the bridge will be complete! Here’s what we have to look forward to (Jamie taking a nap on the old bridge, before she tore it apart)