Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Foxie’s charm

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The big charmer at CSNW is no doubt Mr. B (I mean, just look at his face!) but Foxie has a charm of her own, and she’s able to use it to socially manipulate the chimp in charge, which is no small feat. Jamie is not easily persuaded by anyone. However, Foxie tries to keep the peace when she can, and if she sees Jamie getting upset about something, she will stomp playfully in front of Jamie to try and change the context. Get her mind off of being upset, and instead, get her to play. Foxie uses her playful charm as a sort of “cease fire” signal.

Foxie decided to use this special ability to her advantage. Sometimes when she and Jamie are playing, Jamie will take one of Foxie’s beloved trolls, which will occasionally make Foxie whimper. It’s all part of the game though, and soon enough they are wrestling and tumbling and Foxie does eventually get her troll back. (Read more about that dynamic here). She seemed to be treating the coconut in this situation as one of those trolls. First she whimpers as if to say “please, I’d really like this coconut” and when that doesn’t work, she starts to play with Jamie.

In the end, Jamie held on to the coconut and was able to crack it open using a plastic chopstick and sheer force on the stairs. However, when it broke into a bunch of pieces, Foxie was able to grab a big chunk and Jamie had no problem with her taking her piece.

Starting the day out right

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Burrito was the first chimpanzee I saw this morning. He was sitting in the last front room looking out the window with the morning light shining on his face. It was such a peaceful moment. And then we made eye contact; and from that moment on, he was ready to go. And by go, I mean ready to play. He took the little toy wooden block he had in his hand and put it in his mouth. Then he got up from the bench, gave a good foot stomp and ran out to the Greenhouse.

Who could resist an invitation to play a game of chase like that? So, I ran out to the human area next to the greenhouse and gave a good foot stomp. He ran back and forth along the platform, continuing to foot stomp along the way. As soon as I would catch up to him, he would quickly change direction and run the other way. In between running back and forth, he did a couple of play bows before running off again. We continued this for a few minutes before he sat down and put his back against the wire fencing, for me to give him a few knuckle rubs.

It’s moments like these that I find it so hard to imagine how he endured year after year, decade after decade in the tiny little cages he (and the other chimpanzees) lived in. Finally, he is able to wake up in the morning and start the day off with a good play session. To be able to run and play with the other chimpanzees and caregivers is what sanctuary is about.

Caregiver Katelyn was able to capture a few photos of him shortly after our play session. By that time he had changed his toy of choice to a hard plastic fish.



Point A to Point B

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

What is the quickest way to get from point A to point B?


Well, for Missy chimpanzee, that means taking the tight rope walk across the fire hose railing to get to the platform on top of the climbing structure.



Once she made it to the top platform, she took a moment to look out over the valley.


In the first picture, Annie and Foxie were also on the climbing structure. If you look close enough, you can see the blue hair of Foxie’s troll doll lying on Foxie’s back.

Annie (bottom left), Foxie (top left), Missy (far right).

Tool bench

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Last summer we got this pretty awesome workbench which the chimpanzees loved (and loved to death!) so we added the same workbench to our Amazon wishlist again recently. Jamie and Annie both spent a fair amount of time with it, but Annie was able to stay out of sight from the paparazzi :) But we did get a few photos of Jamie playing with the tools.

First she knocked the bench on its side and twisted the vice around:


And then she used the wrench as a screwdriver:


Missy and Negra Wrestle

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Missy really brings out Negra’s playful side. She slows things down a little when she plays with Negra in comparison to Annie or Foxie who are more active than the Queen, so this play session is a little different than what you’re used to seeing when we post video of the chimps wrestling. Still, even without the tumbling and running, Negra is able to throw in a (playful) punch and a few bites, too. :)

Projects and Preferences

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Jamie has a mind that never sleeps. We do our best to keep her occupied and enriched, but sometimes she has to take matters into her own hands. It’s not unusual to find Jamie working on a project of her own making – anything from stuffing socks into a hollow tube, to pouring liquid back and forth from one container to another, to tying knots in scarves. (She even participated in routine fecal sample collection once.)

Interestingly, Jamie often prefers that these activities are done in privacy. As soon as she notices a caregiver watching – or even worse, trying to film or take photos – she stops what she’s doing. This morning I caught her using the wooden blocks in the photo below to hammer the red plastic stick into the floor of the playroom. Even though I knew I was pushing my luck, I grabbed the camera in hopes that I might get a video for the blog, but not surprisingly, the game was over as soon as she spotted me.


Speaking of keeping the chimps enriched, we posted the photo below to our Facebook page this morning and asked everyone to guess whose feet are socked up so stylishly. The answer is Missy! Missy and Jody both love to wear socks (and in fact these particular socks were sent to Jody by her Pal Sandy Nelson), but typically it’s only one at a time. Missy loves to pull on a sock (or two) when she’s feeling a little playful. (If you’re wondering why we’re okay posting photos of Missy wearing socks while we advocate against the use of chimpanzee “performers” wearing clothes in movies and on TV, please visit this page.)


Jody’s eyes

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Over six and a half years ago, J.B., Diana, Sarah, and Keith all visited the chimpanzees while they were still in the Buckshire lab. J.B. wrote this entry about Jody and how the first thing he noticed about her were her striking eyes. After living at CSNW now for over six years, I think they are even more vibrant now than they ever have been before.




Chimpanzees: Always Curious

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

It’s important to have priorities in life, and the chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest are good at deciding what is top priority (usually food) and what is a close ranking second, as you’ll see in the video below.

Here’s what the back of the lower mount for the GoPro camera looks like. I caught this photo last week of Annie standing next to it. The steel mount, custom made by J.B., has a hinge and opens up to slip the camera in and then has a padlock to secure it.

Annie looking at GoPro mount

Annie’s 40th

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

We celebrated Annie’s 40th birthday today! Her exact birthday is unknown since she was captured in the wild, but her records indicate that she was born sometime in 1974, and today is the day we picked to celebrate it. Annie certainly doesn’t act 40 at all! She’s still very young at heart—she shows her playful side daily when wrestling with Missy or running around Young’s Hill.

We wanted to celebrate her special day with some of her favorites—green grass, beets, green onions, piñatas, buckets of water, shovels, and chow! Thanks to some supplies Lisa Stuverud brought us we had a fun colorful party with new enrichment, too. We set up a breakfast forage first, and then volunteer Becca served Annie’s favorite veggies at lunch.

Here’s the party setup:


I love this photo — you can see the juice from the tangerine spraying to the side! Good shot by Elizabeth.

Annie with a mouthful of chow (she loves to wadge chow!)

Annie loves green grass, so we picked some for her and included bunches of it in their breakfast forage:

Some of her favorite veggies are green onions and beets:



The other chimps enjoyed the party too! Burrito the charmer practically posed during the forage for this photo:

Everyone loved the fruit! Here’s Jamie:




Missy loved the green grass:

And Jody ended up getting the piñatas (there was a Dora the Explorer piñata too, but that was torn up before we could snap a photo!)


Foxie got a new troll and some knuckle rubs from Diana, which made her laugh:

And Negra spent a lot of time in hard-to-see spots during the day, but I did get this picture of her beautiful relaxed face:

Happy 40th Birthday, Annie!