Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Handsome Mr. B

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

I went out to the greenhouse this afternoon to snap a few photos of the chimpanzees—most of whom were lounging in hard-to-see spots, so I was out of luck. However, front and center was Mr. Burrito, looking handsome as ever.

web_burrito_handsome_up-close_gh_dm_IMG_3000

web_burrito_handsome_up-close_gh_dm_IMG_3006

web_burrito_handsome_up-close_gh_dm_IMG_3014

web_burrito_handsome_look_at_camera_gh_dm_IMG_3015

Annie Evolving

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Annie was not brimming with confidence when she arrived at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. (This is an understatement.) She had a couple of things working against her: her position at the very bottom of the social hierarchy, and decades of history in research labs during which she lived in fear and frequent pain. She had every reason to believe that the world was not kind.

During her early days at the sanctuary, Annie had regular anxiety attacks. If she felt threatened by another chimpanzee, or sometimes for no discernible reason at all, she would throw herself on the ground while screaming and flailing. She was glued to her best friend Missy’s side, and would become noticeably agitated if they were separated. At the sanctuary she was given space to roam, other chimps to play with, nourishing food, and caregivers who adore her. But she was not at ease.

Fast forward almost seven years, and Annie is a different person.

web_Annie_lie_down_bench_portrait_studio_look_at_camera_FR4_ek_IMG_2889

She has shed her old demons and has been hard at work building a whole new Annie. This new Annie is filled with peace and joy and wonder. She plays with friends and stands up for herself during family disagreements and claps her feet and makes bird noises and is not afraid of solitude.

web_Annie_sit_log_triangle_green_grass_YH_ek_IMG_2934

This new Annie greets the world with a glint in her eye.

web_Annie_lie_down_bench_portrait_studio_look_at_camera_FR4_ek_IMG_2898

It’s a jungle out there

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Okay, so, not quite a jungle—but the grass is very tall on Young’s Hill and the weeds are at the perfect stage for chimp snacking! Everyone has been on the hill a lot today, Negra was even out there on her own for awhile!

Even after nearly seven years in sanctuary, we still see the chimpanzees growing and truly coming into their own. I find that no matter how many times we see the chimps on the hill, it will never, ever get old. It’s still so awesome to see them outside, in their element foraging for tasty snacks, and sometimes even venturing to a point where we can’t see them!

It’s moments like those that make us reflect on how incredible sanctuary is and how much you all have really changed the lives of the Cle Elum Seven. Young’s Hill would not have been possible without generous gifts from supporters such as yourselves, and the exciting new projects we have in mind would never be able to get off the ground if it weren’t for our remarkable CSNW family. Words could really never say how much your support means to us, or to the chimpanzees, but maybe a few pictures can.

Jody in the grass jungle:

web_jody_stand_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1748

web_jody_stand_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1747

web_jody_carry_grass_in_mouth_yh_dm_IMG_2779

web_jody_carry_grass_in_mouth_yh_dm_IMG_2781

Negra, all on her own munching on some grass and weeds:

web_negra_sit_in_green_grass_eat_weeds_yh_dm_IMG_2786

web_negra_eat_weeds_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1776

web_negra_eat_weeds_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1765

web_negra_hunt_for_weeds_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1766

web_negra_hunt_for_weeds_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1768

web_negra_look_at_camera_green_grass_yh_dg_IMG_1767

We are gearing up for our HOOT! gala in a couple weeks—the biggest fundraiser of the year, where folks can help sustain the sanctuary and support more indescribable moments like Jody getting lost in the grass jungle, and Negra hanging out on the hill all on her own for some delicious dandelion greens.

This year, I have been helping get all the auction items organized and ready for the big night. I’m astounded by all the wonderful items that have been donated! We have a preview site available, so check that out and decide now what you plan to bid on!

screen-shot-hoot-2015-preview

Join us May 30th for a fun night and learn more about the last seven years of moments!

Good Clean Fun

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Today after cleaning the playroom, we put a small drop of non-toxic dish soap in the pool and filled it up with water. The chimpanzees all enjoy soapy water. Jamie sometimes uses it to scrub the floor, while others like to take big mouthfuls of it. They seem to like the sensation of the foamy bubbles in their mouths. There’s no denying it – bubbles are just fun.

web_Jody_Annie_Foxie_drink_from_soapy_water_pool_PR_ek_IMG_2741

Annie:

web_Annie_soap_bubbles_in_mouth_profile_PR_ek_IMG_2718

web_Annie_soap_bubbles_in_mouth_look_up_PR_ek_IMG_2727

Foxie:

web_Foxie_soap_bubbles_in_mouth_PR_ek_IMG_2749

web_Foxie_soap_bubbles_in_mouth_look_at_camera_PR_ek_IMG_2758

Jody:

web_Jody_soap_bubbles_on_face_PR_ek_IMG_2754

web_Jody_soap_bubbles_on_face_PR_ek_IMG_2755

Making the perfect tool

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

After breakfast Jamie set out onto Young’s Hill with purpose in her step.

web_jamie_walk_yh_dm_IMG_2663

We watched as she very methodically selected a bamboo shoot and headed back into the greenhouse.

web_jamie_find_bamboo_stick_tool_yh_dm_IMG_2660

As it turns out, she had unsuccessfully attempted to get some peanuts outside the caging using a toy rake. The handle was just slightly too big to reach out to the peanuts.

web_rake_tool_for_peanut_outside_caging_gh_dm_IMG_2667

The bamboo stick was a little too cumbersome, so Jamie needed to tweak it a bit. First she broke it in half, and then she removed some of the branches.

web_jamie_break_bamboo_stick_tool_gh_dm_IMG_2669

web_jamie_break_bamboo_stick_tool_gh_dm_IMG_2671

web_jamie_break_bamboo_stick_tool_gh_dm_IMG_2679

Now that she designed the perfect tool, she could reach the peanuts!

web_jamie_use_bamboo_stick_tool_for_peanut_outside_caging_gh_dm_IMG_2680

Success.

web_jamie_success_eat_peanut_gh_dm_IMG_2681

web_jamie_eat_peanut_gh_dm_IMG_2684

Cle Elum Wildlife

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

As many of you know, our beloved (and sometimes troublesome) resident elk, Ellie, has made it a very well-known fact that she is in fact a horse. Or a cow. Or a goat. Or a human! But certainly not a wild elk. Despite her outward friendliness, we still keep our distance—she is still wild, after all, and ideally we would love for her to be more wild and less attracted to sticking around humans.

Today, Elizabeth spotted Ellie up on a high hill to the south of the sanctuary property. We both laughed, saying “what is Ellie doing way over there?” And then we realized, when four other elk followed, that wasn’t Ellie at all! We got very excited to see a small herd, which is sort of amusing when we see Ellie every day—elk really aren’t novel animals to us. But a herd! So exciting.

web_elk_herd_on_south_hill_dm_IMG_2495

web_elk_herd_on_south_hill_dm_IMG_2493

web_elk_herd_on_south_hill_dm_IMG_2489

Unfortunately, Ellie was busy breaking into our compost bin—a very Ellie-type thing to do—so she missed the herd as they passed through. As much as we wish for her to be wild, we recognize that she is a unique being. She probably will always be more human-oriented because of how she grew up. Honestly, I’m not sure she would identify herself as an elk.

ellie

Imagine growing up with another species as your primary caregivers—you would undoubtedly have some sort of identity crisis. And though it is no one’s fault that Ellie was separated from her herd and ended up living at the farm next door, it’s definitely not the ideal situation for an elk.

For a chimpanzee, living in a human home is even more unnatural, and not surprisingly chimpanzees raised so closely with humans really struggle with their identity. Elizabeth wrote about “Burrito the misfit” the other day, and it’s so true. If he had been raised in an appropriate social environment, he most likely would be alpha male.

Some other “side effects” to being raised in an natural environment are Jamie’s love of boots and Foxie’s love of trolls. Though these are just part of everyday life here at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, when you think about it for a minute, it really is quite odd. But they are all unique beings and all have their idiosyncratic tendencies. For Ellie, that means rummaging through things, sitting in Diana and JB’s garden, and taking perimeter walks alongside the humans as Jamie leads the way on the inside of Young’s Hill.

For Foxie, that means delighting in these sort of funny-looking dolls with big eyes, crazy colorful hair, and hard plastic bodies. Here she is in a calm relaxing moment with one of her dolls (you can see just part of the troll in the top picture—he/she is out of the frame in the others but was still in her hand).

web_Foxie_close_up_lie_on_back_look_at_camera_GH_ek_IMG_1297

web_Foxie_lie_on_back_GH_ek_IMG_1288

web_Foxie_lie_on_back_profile_GH_ek_IMG_1292

Happy Day

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Today is warm and sunny at the sanctuary and the chimpanzees are in great moods. Annie and Missy spent much of the morning like this:

Who’s There?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

We had a group of students visit today from The Northwest School, and the chimpanzees were very curious about them.

It was our first group visit at the observation area this year, and the weather was beautiful! Just like our summer visits, a staff member (J.B. today) gave a presentation first in the barn, providing information about the history of the sanctuary and chimpanzees in general, including the use of chimpanzees in the pet, entertainment, and biomedical industries.

Once the group came to the observation area, Jamie, being Jamie, was outside in a flash and spent some time checking out everyone’s footwear.

Negra, on the other hand, held back for a bit. Sometimes it seems that Negra avoids visitors, but today she went out on the hill, ignoring the forage at first, and just calmly checked out the visitors from a distance.

Negra looking at visitors

 

Negra looking at visitors 2

 

Negra sitting arms crossed

 

Satisfied, she then went about her business looking for lunch forage scraps

Negra walking

 

Negra climbing over log

In addition to providing an educational opportunity for supporters of the sanctuary, it’s our goal for our limited visitor program to add something new and interesting for the chimpanzees in a way that they do not feel at all threatened, so it was great to see Negra react with such calm curiosity today.

 

Burrito was curious when the group was loading back on the bus, after he had his fill of the forage. He chose to watch their departure from the greenhouse, where he could see them but they couldn’t see him:

Burrito looking at visitors leaving

The Hermit

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Negra is the grandma of the Cle Elum Seven.

She is not the kind of grandma who bakes you cookies, but the kind who tells you to get your life together and grumbles about those kids on her lawn. Negra knows exactly who she is and what she likes. She is stuck in her ways. She appreciates comfort and routine and predictability (and peanuts and lettuce). She is highly suspicious of change. She will not tolerate your shenanigans.

Negra chooses to spend about 80% of her time in a big, soft nest in the same spot on the playroom catwalk, in front of a window that looks out over the valley. The playroom is warm and dry and safe, and Negra sees little reason to leave it.

But for a few short months out of the year, the conditions in the greenhouse are so perfect that even Negra can’t resist. She ventures out early in the morning to enjoy the warm sun and gentle breezes, and that’s usually where we find her when we arrive at the sanctuary to start the day. Soon enough the weather will change again and Negra will be back in her nest inside, buried under piles of blankets. But while it lasts, we’re thrilled to see Negra get out and see what the world has to offer.

web_Negra_close_up_look_at_camera_GH_ek_IMG_1793

Community

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

I could not help but feel incredibly moved this morning, as myself and volunteers Erin and Tanya were cleaning the Greenhouse portion of the chimpanzee’s living quarters. There is a brightly colored painting with supporter names on the one main wall that caught my attention and I stopped to really look at it. There are so many names on the wall. As I continued to look around at all of the items in the Greenhouse, all I could think about was how every component of the sanctuary is the result of a community of loving, thoughtful and caring people.

There are so many components that make up the sanctuary, including various paintings on the walls that really help to brighten the chimpanzee areas. Various structures, tires and dangling fire hoses provide space for the chimps to climb, play, and rest. Countless blankets and enrichment items contribute to the chimpanzees’ comfort and well-being. Even the tools we use to clean, including the scrub brushes, squeegees, buckets, soap, right down to the very gloves we wear, help staff and volunteers keep the enclosures clean. Fresh fruits and vegetables make up each of the meals, while bamboo planted around Young’s Hill and in the Greenhouse give the chimps extra nesting and foraging material. And then there are the enclosures and storage spaces themselves that have been made possible by those who have donated their time, energy, expertise and the actual materials needed to construct them.

All of CSNW, every square inch, every little detail, has been made possible by countless volunteers and generous supporters. These chimpanzees are loved world wide and I can’t think of a better gift to give them than a community that is dedicated to their well-being. I know it can never make up for the countless ways in which they have been wronged in the past, but it’s the best we all can do to provide them a now and a future that is full of hope, love and sanctuary.

Looking around and seeing all the parts that make up the whole got me to thinking, why do we do it? Why do we dedicate our lives to the well-being of these chimpanzees? Is it a sense of responsibility, a way to show our compassion for all living beings, or is it when we look into their eyes, we see ourselves? Perhaps there are no words to describe why. What is your reason for being a part of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest?

Annie
web_Annie_sit_structure_leg_up_YH_kh_IMG_0755

Burrito
web_Burrito_mouthful_chow_forage_sit_GH_kh_IMG_9576

Foxie
web_Foxie_closeup_face_FR4_kh_IMG_5756

Jamie
web_Jamie_walk_look_at_camera_YH_kd_IMG_1393

Jody
web_Jody_forage_grass_in_mouth_YH_kd_IMG_1397

Missy
web_Missy_forage_native_plant_in_mouth_YH_kd_IMG_1388

Negra
web_Negra_eat_lettuce_forage_look_at_camera_PR_kh_IMG_8755

Which ever way you choose to support the sanctuary, know that you have and will continue to make a huge impact on the lives of these chimpanzees. And thank you!!! Thank you those who have and those who continue to volunteer at the sanctuary; those who have donated their time, energy and services to help our various fundraising efforts including the HOOT! Gala event; those who help spread the word about the plight of chimpanzees in captivity and in the wild through our Eyes on Apes advocacy program; those who have donated items through our Wishlist, and those who choose to Sponsor a day in honor of a loved one or directly sponsor a chimpanzee through our Chimpanzee Pal program. Thank you for being a part of the CSNW community.