Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Fine Dining

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

There’s nothing quite like savoring a raw onion on a spring afternoon with the birds chirping in the background.


Saturday, May 13th, 2017

It’s finally here! Our biggest fundraiser of the year, our annual Hoot! Gala and Spring Fling celebration! And while the humans are on their way to one of the most unique and exciting parties in the city, they aren’t the only people partying. The chimps are having their own celebration with a dinner of field roast and roasted sweet potato on a bed of lettuce and cabbage, sparkling cider, and a huge forage with sweet onions, corn on the cob, and fresh coconuts:

On this one day of the year, we have to get the chimps settled in earlier than usual so that staff working in the chimp house have time to get spiffed up and head to the gala. Routine and the comfort and security of knowing what to expect are important to the chimps and we don’t want to veer from that more than necessary or have them getting bored with a little more time on their hands, so a sure fire way to keep everyone active, happy and engaged is to set out an exciting forage cut into teeny, tiny pieces.

Annie sitting in a field of forage:

Burrito was beside himself, as usual when there’s food involved (that’s Jody behind him):

Jamie likes to drag a table around with her during forages for easier collection:

She decided to eat the field roast first and save the rest for later:

While Jamie was occupied elsewhere, Burrito bravely decided to steal her leftover dinner “boats.” I braced myself for Jamie to scream at the top of her lungs (her tactic when someone is touching – or even thinking about touching – something she doesn’t want them to), but she must have decided she found something else worth her attention and Burrito scooped them up without issue and food squeaked to celebrate:

Annie mid food grunt (you can just make out Negra’s ear as she sits in the sunny window below Annie enjoying her dinner with a view):

Jody, ever the adventurous foodie, was collecting corn cobs:

Foxie and Missy were ladies of the loft for this one and out of sight of the camera.

Anna, myself and volunteer, Helen, put the chimps’ dinner out a couple hours ago and Jamie is still foraging!

The chimps are completely silent as I write this so I just went to check on everyone. And who did I find, but this guy, fighting off a food coma in the last sun puddle of the day:

Somehow he mustered enough energy to still be an adorable goof:

But it was so hard:

There are some crazy amazing items of this guy (and more!) up for auction tonight. To all of you who have helped sponsor this amazing celebration, volunteers who have helped plan this party of all parties, to all those working to make it special for our guests, those who are attending the gala and making it so much fun, those who will be raising your paddles high or who have been pre-bidding online, and those of you cheering us on from home, there aren’t enough words of thanks to each of you for making everything that you do, possible. You make this sanctuary for these seven amazing chimpanzees a home. A home filled with love, comfort, joy, adventure and healing. And we hope a home for others, who are awaiting their day in their own sun puddles.

Hoots of love and gratitude from all of us to all of you! Have a fantastic evening and check in tomorrow for our celebration of Jody’s birthday and Mother’s Day! Yep, that’s how we roll in the chimp house…party, after party. Hopefully, Burrito is revived by then…

Trying Something New

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Almost six years after Young’s Hill opened, there are still parts of the two-acre outdoor habitat that Negra hasn’t explored. She seems to feel safer and more comfortable with a roof over her head. When she does go outside, she tends to stick close to the building in case she gets spooked and needs to run back inside quickly.

You can imagine our surprise and joy this afternoon as we watched Negra venture clear up to the top of Young’s Hill and plant herself calmly on a mound of wild greens. She had never been on this part of the hill before but she didn’t seem to be worried about that. The whole sanctuary held its breath as we stopped and watched in awe. She looked so small up there.

After awhile she crossed a log bridge and continued her exploration.

She stopped in to sample the grass growing under Twister.

You can just see Negra under the structure on the left, with Foxie on the right.

Eventually it was time to make her way back down the hill, but she was in no hurry.

The Reason Why

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

I have the most amazing job in the world. I know so many people who would love to be in my place and help run a sanctuary for chimpanzees. There are stressful times though; a lot of stressful times, if I’m being honest.

But then there are the moments that bring me back to the mission of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and the reason that I’m here, and probably the reason you are reading this.

Today, it was a simple moment.

I was finishing up a walk with Jamie (wearing a mismatched pair of boots, at Jamie’s request).

Burrito, Jody, Foxie, Annie, Missy, and Negra all came outside while Jamie and I walked the perimeter of the outdoor habitat. By the time I came to the end of the walk, everyone but Negra had gone into the green house.

Negra remained sitting by the “cabin” that we named after her, in a field of green, sampling the fresh grass, as content as any chimpanzee I’ve ever seen.


Thank you, Negra, for this reminder today. It’s all about these moments.


Four Reasons to HOOT!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Here are four reasons to join us at HOOT! on May 13th at Sodo Park in Seattle.

These photos were taken today as the chimpanzees explored and enjoyed their home. Take a moment on this Earth Day to appreciate their happiness.

Their sanctuary life is only possible with the support of so many people out there, and our annual gala plays a big role in raising funds for their care and our exciting plans for the future.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to HOOT! yet, don’t delay – buy them now! If you are unable to attend, we’ll miss you, but you can still take part by making a donation. We’ll also have just a few items available for bidding online – details coming soon.


hoot logo


Annie eating fresh spring grass:

annie eating grass


Burrito taking a brief break from foraging for lunch:

handsome burrito


This is a very contented face on Jamie:

Jamie happily sitting


Jody has the best drooped lip face!

Jody with drooped lip

Happy Earth Day! Thank you for helping us grow!





For Earth Day and the chimpanzees!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This day was sponsored by Debbie Bloom in honor of the chimpanzees and this beautiful Earth we all share. She shares this lovely message about today:

“In honor of Earth Day it seems appropriate to celebrate all of these beautiful creatures. They bring such joy and intrigue into our lives – especially mine. I only wish that I could read their minds.” 

Debbie, on this day in which we’re given a special opportunity to honor and celebrate this amazing earth, and to protect and preserve all we cherish, we love that you’ve chosen to include the chimps. Thank you so much for honoring the special individuals they are and all they bring to our lives just by being themselves.

There is so much to love on this earth. Especially these seven chimpanzees. Safe, thriving and loved in a beautiful world to call their own, thanks to each of you.








Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Janet Annal in honor of her son, Matthew Annal! Janet shared this message about today:

“Happy belated birthday! Matthew is a chimp aficionado and spreads information with his chimpanzee puppet. He was able to visit CSNW several years ago to get to know the chimps better and make sure he represents them accurately. Way to go, Matt!!”

Janet, thank you for choosing to celebrate Matthew’s special day by making a difference for the chimpanzees! What a generous thing to do.

Matthew, we hope you have the best birthday yet! Thank you so much for caring about chimpanzees and for all the work you do to share your passion and information with others. Happy Birthday from all of us at CSNW!

Burrito loves a good party (as long as there’s plenty of food, of course):

Burrito with streamers

You Can’t Please Everyone

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Burrito is more popular in some circles than in others. As a rule, humans adore him while his chimp family merely tolerates him. On a daily basis, Burrito terrorizes the six female chimps he lives with by charging through the chimp house in loud and intimidating dominance displays. Burrito’s just doing what male chimps do, but that argument doesn’t hold much water with the ladies who have to live with him.

Despite all that, there’s something endearingly innocent about him. He feels his emotions deeply. While not the most socially savvy person, he tries hard to fit in, and he doesn’t always understand why the other chimps are upset with him. He loves and trusts his caregivers without reservation, even though humans have not been kind to him in the past. He loves a gentle game of tug of war with his human friends, and he greets every meal like a kid on Christmas morning.

Close Grooming Among… Friends?

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Last week, I witnessed an intimate grooming session between an unlikely pair – Jamie and Burrito.

We’ve written many times on this blog about the importance of social grooming among chimpanzees. Jamie is a bit unusual, well, in many ways, but in particular with grooming. She is not seen grooming the other chimpanzees very often, and they are not often seen grooming her. This is all the more unusual because of her boss (or maybe the more appropriate term is “bossy”) status within the group.

Her relationship with Burrito is not a close friendship. I describe Jamie as treating Burrito like an annoying little brother. They do hang out together, and sometimes groom each other, but usually not for long periods of time.

Jamie is most interested in the human activity around the chimp house, and she likes to groom her human caregivers, though she doesn’t usually request that we groom her in exchange. So, when I think of Jamie engaged in social grooming, this is what I picture:

Jamie with tool grooming JB


Last week, however, this is what I witnessed:

(Jamie on the left and Burrito on the right)

Jamie & Burrito 1


Jamie & Burrito 2


Jamie & Burrito 4


Jamie & Burrito 5


Jamie & Burrito 6


Jamie & Burrito 7


This went on for quite a long time. I’m not sure how long because, after taking several photos, I decided to quietly depart the area and leave them to their grooming.

Being a removed observer of these moments between the chimpanzees, when they are wholly engaged in their interactions with each other and do not care whatsoever what I am doing, is what makes me most happy as a sanctuary caregiver.