Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Happy Birthday, Diana!

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

There is so much to celebrate today! Not only is tonight our annual auction and gala, Hoot!, but it also happens to be our Co-Director, Diana Goodrich’s, birthday! An anonymous friend of the chimps appears to have been in cahoots with their pal, Jamie, and “helped” her sponsor this day for Diana along with sending this sweet message:

“When Jamie asked to borrow my credit card, I got suspicious…more cowboy boots ??? Not this time, she wanted to sponsor a day for one of her best friends, Diana, on her birthday! She said she hopes it will be one of the best birthdays ever!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA!!! Love Jamie”

Thank you so much to Jamie and her co-conspirator for sponsoring this special day for Diana!! The chimps and humans alike couldn’t be more fortunate to have such an amazing, compassionate and dedicated person to call our friend and colleague. Happiest of birthday hoots to you from us all, Diana!! Thank you so much for all you do to make the lives of so many others the best they can be.


ANNIE and Family for the 3rd day of HOOT!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

J.B. and I met Annie eight and a half years ago, along with the rest of the chimpanzees who were to become The Cle Elum Seven.

From the very first blog post we wrote about her (read it here), when we talked about Annie, we talked about her friendship with Missy. Her clear love for and reliance on her friend Missy was her defining characteristic.

But Annie is coming into her own.

While some of the chimpanzees are taking advantage of the sanctuary and living out the childhood that they never had (notably Foxie – just watch the video re-posted to the blog yesterday), I think Annie has been experiencing a bit of a rebellious adolescence lately.

It was clear from day one that Annie was at the bottom of the hierarchy of the seven chimpanzees. We’ve written about her anxiety and lack of confidence in social situations many times. And we’ve told you that her confidence has skyrocketed in the last few years. What we might not have mentioned is that she’s moved beyond confidence to downright moxie.

As a general rule, timidity is not a trait that is revered in the chimpanzee social world. Chimpanzees can be a rough bunch, and if you’re not prepared to walk your talk (or would that be walk your pant-hoot?), you might find yourself in a perilous situation.

While Annie remains sweet and soulful, she is learning that she can be just as tough as the other ladies and gent, and she is much less likely to back down during conflicts now. In fact, sometimes she is the one starting them. If she feels wronged, she won’t just have a self-directed anxiety-laden outburst as she did in the past, she will let the group know she’s not only upset, but she’s not putting up with it.


On Saturday, we will be raising funds at HOOT! for our Expansion Fund. We have some big dreams for the future of the sanctuary, and we will be sharing these, including a surprise announcement, at the gala.

We have received a matching grant pledge from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund for $50,000. Laura Bonar, Fund Advisor for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund and Chief Program & Policy Officer at Animal Protection of New Mexico, will be one of our special guests at the event!

That grant and the matching funds that we will raise on Saturday will go towards our first phase of expansion. This means that we will be adding more chimpanzees to the group in the near future.

We are still seeing the individual personalities and the group dynamics of the Cle Elum Seven change after almost eight years, and this will be a whole new and thrilling chapter in the lives of Annie and her six family members.

Who knows how we will be describing Annie’s position three or four years from now. What I do know is all of the chimpanzees will continue to change and grow and experience life in new ways.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Annie hoot image

Today is in memory of Baby H

Monday, April 25th, 2016

We receive so many beautiful Sponsor a Day tributes from our amazing supporters. We are always deeply touched by the inclusion of the chimpanzees in the many moments that make up such an important part of everyone’s hearts and lives. And today there is an exceptionally special and touching tribute. Megan Hood and her husband share this message:

“My husband and I lost our baby during pregnancy. He was due on April 25, 2016. I just recently read about Foxie’s story and instantly felt a connection with her and the loss and separation of her children. I’ve loved looking at pictures of her and her dolls. I’m happy that she has her trolls to care for as if they were her babies.”

Megan, sometimes there are no words for the experiences and heartbreak we endure in life. But we want to express our heartfelt sympathy to you and your husband for the loss of your son. We are so glad that you have found a connection to Foxie and her children that brings you happiness and we’re truly touched that you would choose to honor the memory of your baby boy by making a difference in the lives of the chimpanzees. Knowing all that each of the chimpanzees have been through and then seeing their capacity for love and healing astounds us daily. And we are sending you all the good thoughts and wishes for the comfort, love, joy and serenity that you are helping provide for Foxie and her family. Thank you so very much.

foxie kiss troll





web Foxie love new troll enrichment close up DSC_0264


Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Jamie reminds us multiple times a day who’s boss.

Overcoming Fears

Monday, April 18th, 2016

As a rule, Negra does not like to be touched by humans. For over three decades, Negra lived in a research laboratory where human touch was usually painful or scary. Sometimes she seeks out touch from her caregivers at the sanctuary by pressing her back against the caging for a little massage, only to panic and threat bark at us when we actually make contact. Some of her anxiety in this area seems to have subsided over the years, but still, we are always a little amazed (and a lot honored) when she allows us to touch her.

Curiously Sweet

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Annie has changed in many ways since arriving at the sanctuary eight years ago. As the chimpanzee who occupies the lowest position in the hierarchy, Annie has plenty of reasons to be cautious. When she first moved here from the lab, she was anxious, shy, and prone to panic attacks. Nowadays, we see a much more confident and outgoing Annie.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is that Annie remains possibly the sweetest chimp you’ll ever meet. Chimpanzees are not known for being gentle. Any chimp caregiver will tell you that they’ve been poked, spit on, or worse by the chimps they take care of countless times. That’s all normal chimp behavior – particularly among captive chimps who have limited power over their environment – and we see those behaviors every day from the Cle Elum Seven. All except for Annie, that is, who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in her body.





These Eyes

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

These eyes have seen a lot in their 39 years:

Foxie looking


These arms have had babies torn from them:

Foxie with arms crossed


This body has been viewed and treated as nothing more than a tool to experiment with:

Foxie full body


This face is now loved by hundreds of people:

Foxie side glance

Foxie close up


This post is for the love of Foxie in recognition of where she came from and how far away from that life she is now, thanks to everyone who has cared. Learn more about Foxie on her web page and in this post.



The Two Sides of Burrito

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Burrito is not the most popular guy on the block. That may shock those of you who are human beings, because humans are completely unable to resist his many charms. But if you were a chimpanzee living with Burrito, he’d probably be a thorn in your side.


Burrito is a unique (and completely endearing, says this human) mix of macho and vulnerable. At times, he is a whirling dervish, composed entirely of testosterone and muscle. In the next moment, he is all confused little boy, cowering in a corner while the ladies put him back in his place. As a male chimpanzee who grew up in an unnatural and impoverished environment, he is a slave to instinct but lacks finesse. He is the teenage boy who does something incredibly misguided, and when asked why, cannot provide an explanation. He is more action than thought.


But most of the time, Burrito is like a puppy. He is affectionate and goofy and a little needy. He just wants love and attention and praise and food and someone to play with. Because he’s slightly intimidated by the other chimpanzees, he usually turns to his human friends to fulfill these needs. It is a burden that we take on because someone must, but it is rough. So rough.




Today is in memory of Linda

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary, sponsored by Lisa and Rich Stuverud, is in memory of Linda Vizzare and is about the celebration of life in all it’s many forms, along with those we love. Lisa shared this beautiful message about today:

“We, Rich and I, want to celebrate this special day because Linda and I shared it as our birthday. We wanted to celebrate and share it with Jamie, Negra, Jody, Missy, Annie, Foxie, Burrito and everyone involved in supporting CSNW because through our involvement with the sanctuary we have found our own kind of sanctuary and we are forever grateful.”

Lisa and Rich, you and your family do so much to make sure the chimpanzees’ days and lives are filled with joy, love and hope. We are so grateful to you all and touched by your heartfelt gift today. Our hearts are with you as you celebrate Linda and the lives and birthdays you shared together. May you find peace and comfort in your memories of her today.

And Lisa, Happy Birthday! May all of the love and kindness you so generously share with others come back to you tenfold and may this special day continue to bring you much to celebrate!

Happy birthday hoots and hellos from your pals, Burrito and Jamie:




Easter Revisited

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Yesterday, Keri shared some photos from the chimpanzees’ Easter party. We didn’t get a ton of video footage of the party, but I thought I’d share a few clips. Enjoy!