Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

The Loners

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees had lived together in the lab for a few years before they came to the sanctuary, so they were already an established group when we met them. Like any family, theirs contained a range of personalities. Some were dominant and some were submissive, some were serious and some were fun-loving, some were social and some were independent.

When the group first arrived at the sanctuary eight years ago, Jody and Negra kept to themselves pretty consistently. They would show up to meals, but that was about the only group activity they showed any interest in. For most of the day, they would each find a quiet spot, make a nest, and enjoy their solitude.

We love that the chimps have the freedom to make their own choices, so we were glad that Negra and Jody were spending their days in the ways that made them happy. Still, as we watched some of the other chimps find joy and comfort in companionship, we couldn’t help but wish that Jody and Negra would open themselves up to this experience.

Fast forward eight years: Today we know a Jody and a Negra who still appreciate their alone time, but who also regularly seek out soothing grooming sessions or gentle play sessions with their friends. They remain fundamentally the same people we met years ago, but now their worlds are just a little bigger.






Monday, July 18th, 2016

There’s something about watching chimpanzees eat that immediately brightens my mood. Here are a few short clips from today’s lunch.

One of each, please

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Jody wins today’s lunch forage

Jody carrying cattail

Farmer Jo


Jody with forage haul


Jody close-up forage queen







Joy in the Afternoon

Monday, July 11th, 2016

If you’re having a bad day, this video will help. If you’re having a good day, it’s about to get even better.

Snuggling in the Forecast

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

You wouldn’t know it’s July by the weather in Cle Elum today. It’s cool and overcast, and we’ve had some intermittent light rain. For the chimpanzees, this is a perfect excuse to snuggle up with some soft blankets.










Nothing Much Going On

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

If you follow our blog regularly, you might get the impression that the chimpanzees are always up to something. And they do spend a lot of time playing, eating, grooming, and exploring. But they also enjoy downtime.

In memory of Bryan

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Judy Riner in memory of her husband, Bryan Riner, and she shared this beautiful message about her special gift in his honor:

“Bryan Riner loved and respected chimps. He especially enjoyed following the lives of the Cle Elum Seven, and he would be proud to know that his family honors his memory in this way. He was a loving husband and father, and that love and compassion extended to all species.”

Judy, thank you so very much for this special gift in Bryan’s memory. You and your family have been such good friends to the chimpanzees and we are honored to celebrate Bryan here today. All of us here at the sanctuary will be holding you all in our hearts and minds. We hope that the love you extend to the chimpanzees, enabling them to live their lives full of joy and comfort, is felt all around you as you celebrate Bryan and his wonderful legacy of compassion and respect for all our fellow beings.

Annie and Missy:


Burrito and Jody:

web Burrito Jody groom platform greenhouse GH IMG_3121

Foxie and Negra:

web negra foxie groom cute greenhouse GH IMG_9850

Jamie and Negra:

Negra kiss Jamie


Monday, June 27th, 2016

Once in awhile we make bubbles for the chimps with a small drop of non-toxic dish soap. They seem to like how the bubbles feel in their mouths.

Today is in memory of Susan

Monday, June 27th, 2016

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jennifer and James Douglas to honor the memory of their dear friend, Susan von Beck Turner, and her legacy of care and compassion. Jen and James shared that “Susan touched the lives of many dogs and humans and made them better.”

Susan made a difference in the lives of so many dogs. It was her lifelong passion to rescue them and she saved hundreds, healing their health and spirits and finding them forever homes. When Susan’s own dog, Cardiff, began failing in health and she was unable to find the kind of boarding care she wanted for him, she decided to leave her job and went on to build a well-respected and successful dog boarding facility, Cardiff’s Lodge, here in Washington.

Jen and James, thank you so much for celebrating Susan’s life with such a compassionate and generous gift for the chimpanzees. We are profoundly grateful for all that you do for them and we are honored to celebrate such a special soul today. To you, and Susan’s family and friends, our thoughts are with you all and we hope that your memories of Susan bring you the joy, love and comfort that she provided to so many others.