Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Burrito’s Tug-of-War Massage

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Today before lunch Burrito and staff caregiver J.B. played a nice long game of tug-of-war with a scarf. Burrito will often wrap the scarf around various parts of his body during this game so the caregiver can give him a little massage. Today he wanted to focus on his upper back and arms.

The Warriors

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Jamie and Negra are similar in many ways. Jamie, the youngest female at the sanctuary, is the undisputed leader. She rules through a combination of well-considered political strategy and fierce determination.


Negra, the eldest chimpanzee at the sanctuary, is the grandma of the group, but she’s the grandma you don’t mess with.


Jamie and Negra never hesitate to keep their caregivers in line. Both have little patience for (what they consider) incompetence, and they will speak up if someone’s behavior does not live up to their standards. There is something a little demoralizing about displeasing one of them.

The decades Jamie and Negra spent in research labs, being used and abused by humans, could easily have killed their spirits. Many lab chimps give in and give up, and you can’t blame them. We’re so happy that Jamie and Negra have enough fight left in them to keep us on our toes.

An Enduring Love

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Over seven years after meeting and falling in love with her first troll doll, Foxie is still so intensely enamored with these strange little dolls that she carries one everywhere. Today she laid down to rest in the playroom and spent several minutes gazing at her doll before closing her eyes.



Missy Uncaged

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This was Missy in her transport cage on her way to the sanctuary in 2008. This cage isn’t much different than the cages she had lived in for the previous 30 years.

missy on transport cage

We didn’t yet know Missy well on that day in 2008, but we would soon come to learn that she wants nothing more than to move her body. She is a natural athlete, packed to the brim with energy just waiting to be released in a sprint or leap or swing on the fire hose. It is almost impossible to imagine what those decades in cramped laboratory cages were like for her. She must have felt stifled and confined in the worst way.

Seeing her take advantage of the wide open spaces at the sanctuary these days never gets old. This morning, a tire swing way at the top of Young’s Hill caught my eye as it swayed back and forth, and I momentarily wondered what had set it in motion since it’s a rare windless day in Cle Elum. After a second I spotted Missy perched on the climbing structure, just a speck on the landscape.



Forages All Day

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Each day there is a theme for the enrichment we give the chimpanzees. Having a daily theme helps to ensure that the chimpanzees do not receive the same items each day and also helps keeps life for them interesting. We always try to include favorites, such as boots and troll dolls, and of course they receive many fresh blankets each day so they can make cozy nests. In addition to these staple items we might wrap their toys in blankets for them to unwrap or decorate the floor with chalk art. Today the theme is “forage all day,” so the chimpanzees started their day with a breakfast forage in the greenhouse!

Annie (left) and Foxie (right):


Jamie (center) found an orange slice hidden in the hanging tire (Annie to her left, Foxie to her right):














Peace, love, Foxie.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Beautiful Foxie at peace in a moment filled with the warmth of the sun on a cold autumn day. This makes my heart happy.




A Chilly Fall Morning

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

It is a beautiful, chilly fall day here at the sanctuary, and the chimpanzees spent some time on Young’s Hill enjoying the crisp air. We have a lot of help with cleaning this morning, which means Jamie has many walking companions to choose from!

Here is Jamie on her second walk of the morning:


Jody also ventured out:


Missy and Annie spent a lot of time climbing on the hill, and then settled in the greenhouse to groom. Missy:


Annie (with Missy behind her):



I wonder if this view may be part of the reason why Jamie goes on so many walks:


Ah, fall!

Today is for Deb Wagman!

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Charlie Neath in honor of Deb Wagman! As some of you may know, Deb is one of our volunteer caregivers and she and her husband, Bruce (a dedicated member of our Board of Directors) are two amazing humans who do so much to make a difference in the lives of so many animals. Charlie has been a supporter of the chimpanzees and the humans and animals endearingly known as “the Wagmanagerie” for a long time and shared this simple and lovely message about today:

“Deborah Wagman is my hero.” 

Charlie, thank you so much for giving both Deb and the chimpanzees a special day! We truly appreciate you thinking of all of them today.

And Deb, you are a special soul who brings a lot of light to a lot of lives, both human and non. May all of that come back to you tenfold. Human hugs, chimp kisses and much love to you!

Jamie, from one amazing woman to another:


Happy Birthday, Helton!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Don and Karen Young in honor of their grandson, Helton Young’s, birthday! Don and Karen have played an integral role in helping to create a sanctuary where the chimpanzees can heal and thrive. They shared this message about today:

“Helton will be 10 years old. He is our only grandson. He loves all animals and misses Emma, our yellow lab. He is an amazing boy with lots of interests, love sports, is on the traveling soccer team, fences, plays baseball, swims, is a voracious reader and is interested in magic. He would love to see CSNW one day.”

Don and Karen, thank you so much for holding the chimpanzees in your heart and including them in your family celebrations. We are thrilled to be celebrating Helton’s special day with you all, he sounds like a special boy.

And Helton, all of us here at the sanctuary wish you the happiest of birthdays filled with adventure and magic! Thanks for sharing your day with the chimpanzees and for seeing how special the animals we share the world with are.

Foxie loves a good adventure:





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The Queen

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

There’s a reason why we call Negra the Queen. Although she’s not in charge, she has a quiet dignity that earns the respect of the other chimpanzees.