Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

Dinnertime lounging

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Yesterday during dinner, Jody decided to relax a little in between courses. She would go out to the greenhouse, get her serving, and then take it to the front rooms to enjoy her meal without any distractions.

Sometimes the chimpanzees prefer to eat with more privacy, and will take their servings off to their own corner. Part of that might be to avoid getting their food taken by someone more dominant (which is completely normal in chimp society) — but partially I think some chimps just enjoy eating away from the hub-bub of the meal.

Still, some chimps will park themselves in one spot during a meal and stay there until everything has been served. Just another example of how great it is that in sanctuary, they can choose how and where to spend their time.





In memory of Joseph and Carlene’s anniversary

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Joseph Garza, in memory of his late wife, Carlene, and this day, which would have been their 15th wedding anniversary. Joseph and Carlene have done so much for the chimpanzees and even though Carlene is no longer with us physically, both she and Joseph continue to make an immense difference in the chimps’ lives. Joseph shared this beautifully heartfelt message about today:

“On this date fifteen years ago, Carlene K. Olsen-Paul and I exchanged vows to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. Little did we know that the latter would come much too soon.

She captured my heart with the first look into her eyes and at that moment I knew that I was looking into the soul of the love of my life. The Lord gave us almost 20 years together, 14 and one-half of those as husband and wife. They weren’t all easy, but I would give anything to have even the worst day back again just to hold her in my arms again.

Carlene K. Olsen-Garza, you are my soul mate and I know when my time comes you will be waiting for me and we will once again be reunited, but this time for eternity. Til then, I love you my angel.”

Joseph, thank you so much for sharing such a special day with not only the chimpanzees, but all of us. We are immensely moved that you not only continue to carry Carlene’s passion for the chimpanzees in your heart, but have made it your own as well. Our thoughts are with you today as you remember your dear wife and the beautiful life you shared.

Annie groom Missy in greenhouse

Too Close for Comfort?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Chimpanzees spend a lot of time grooming each other. Grooming serves hygienic purposes – removing dead skin, tending to wounds – but maybe more importantly it serves to strengthen bonds between individuals. Chimpanzees don’t seem to have the same hangups about personal space as many of us do; they are not shy about getting right up in each other’s faces (or other body parts). It’s hard to imagine how two individuals wouldn’t be closer after a chimpanzee grooming session.

For the most part, the chimps seem to take these invasions of personal space in stride. This afternoon, though, I found poor Foxie pinned into a corner of the greenhouse by Burrito and Jamie, who were both showering her with (seemingly unwanted) attention. She looked like she wouldn’t mind a little breathing room (that’s Burrito in front of Foxie with his back to the camera, and Jamie on the right).





Spring is in the air

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Spring is here, which for this region means the weather is predictably unpredictable. Yesterday, we had a beautiful 70 degree slightly cloudy day—the chimpanzees and the humans were loving it! We had the windows open, we did some work outside, Jamie went on lots of walks, and it felt like summer was just around the corner.

Annie enjoying some of the nice spring weather lately:




Today is, well, not as nice. We have had some very blustery winds with a slight drizzle, but that hasn’t stopped Jamie from making her daily patrols! Most of the other chimps have preferred to stay in the warm wind-protected greenhouse, soaking in the spring sunlight.

What will tomorrow bring? No matter what, I’m sure Jamie will still make her patrols and require her caregivers to come along as well. And maybe Burrito will join and do his new “hop.” Or who knows—maybe even Foxie will come along.


Take Action Tuesday! Chimpanzee in new Comedy Central show

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

EOA take action tuesday

Tomorrow night, March 25, Comedy Central is planning to air a new TV show called Big Time in Hollywood, FL. The show’s previews contain footage of a chimpanzee in several scenes.

The show was produced by Ben Stiller, who we hope will respond favorably to your feedback — but please hurry! The show premieres tomorrow and we would like to encourage the production to make sure the chimpanzee scenes are not included in the premiere. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.



Recently, A&E canceled the show Wild Transport after receiving feedback from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the use of chimpanzees in their show. We urge you to encourage Ben Stiller and Comedy Central to make the same progressive decision for Big Time In Hollywood, FL! Send him a letter (c/o his publicist), and let him know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment. We’ve set up a sample letter below which you can customize as you wish. You may also post on the show’s Facebook page.


Sink enrichment

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Recently we got some toy sinks in the mail, and I knew right away Jamie would be interested. Sure enough, we filled up the sink with some soapy water, along with some dishes and scrub brushes, and she began her inspection.

First, she tried to take the thing apart. When that proved to be more work than she expected, she went to using the brush to dip into the bubbly water and wipe on her tongue. Mmm, tasty soapy water! (We use all plant-based, non-toxic soap, so it’s okay if the chimps decide to eat it).





Once she had explored the sink thoroughly, she grabbed a pencil and picked up the assembly instruction sheet we left behind.

Take Action Thursday: McDonald’s exploits Suzy chimpanzee in new ad

Thursday, March 19th, 2015


A recent advertisement for McDonald’s restaurants in France features Suzy the chimpanzee demonstrating trained behaviors, such as jumping up and down and making “funny” faces. Unfortunately, what Suzy has experienced–and what her future holds–is not funny at all.



Although chimpanzees may appear to have positive, loving relationships with their trainers, this can be deceiving. Trainers often take babies away from their mothers at a very young age and use abusive, fear-based tactics to get chimpanzees to perform. Undoubtedly this environment causes serious psychological harm.

Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, where Suzy lives, has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards.


Suzy was the chimpanzee used in a Dodge commercial five years ago, which was altered after the company learned about the issues surrounding chimpanzees in entertainment. They took an innovative approach and using CGI, removed Suzy’s image from the original ad and changed the voiceover to mention the “invisible monkey.” Dodge also issued a mea culpa about the original commercial, explaining what they learned from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups.

dodge invisible monkey

As Suzy gets older, her future remains uncertain. Martin has a reputation for dumping his former non-human ape actors at facilities with deplorable conditions, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo.

Unfortunately, despite reaching out to McDonald’s, we have not received confirmation that they plan to remove or alter the commercial. We need your help to put the pressure on McDonald’s! Please write a polite letter asking them to remove the ad, and pledge to never work with non-human ape actors again. You may direct your letters to Deborah Wahl (, a Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s.

You may also leave comments on McDonald’s France’s Facebook page or send a Tweet to @McDonaldsCorp.

Sample Letter to McDonald’s:

Dear Ms. Wahl:

I was disappointed to hear that McDonald’s France used Suzy the chimpanzee in a recent commercial for Spicy Chicken Wraps.

Suzy lives with a trainer who has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards ( Suzy’s trainer has dumped former non-human ape actors at deplorable roadside zoos, and as she is getting older, soon she will be too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. They are an endangered species that should be protected, not used for entertainment.

Suzy, and others like her, deserve to be in a sanctuary. Help put an end to the use of chimpanzees in entertainment by removing the commercial and making a promise to never work with non-human ape actors again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.


[Your name here]

If you send an e-mail to McDonald’s, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at for tracking purposes. Thank you!

To get these alerts in your inbox, sign up for the Eyes on Apes Take Action mailing list!

St. Patrick’s Day 2015

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As Katelyn mentioned in the sponsor-a-day post this morning, we love to find any reason to throw a party for the chimpanzees. So today we filled little shamrock cups with almond milk which was dyed green with food coloring, as well as their usual fruit smoothie which we also dyed green. We picked green apples and kiwis for the breakfast forage—and threw in some oranges because the chimps love them! Add some streamers and St. Patty’s day decor, and you have the perfect recipe for a great party!

Everyone loved the drinks. We added little straws to the cups, and some chimps used them while others tossed them aside while they licked the cups clean! Foxie was especially great at getting every last drop:



And Missy, too:



Negra delicately drank from the little shamrock glasses:


Burrito had filled his hands with chow so he had no choice but to lean over and use the straw for sipping:



Annie also enjoyed every last drop of the drinks:



Of course, the fruit was a big hit! Jody was so motivated to get some that she took on some unusual (for her) acrobatic moves to get to the high windows to get a snack.















We also hid some peanuts in little green boxes. Annie was the first to find them:






Jamie, quite uncharacteristically, was not the center of everything during this party! She grabbed a stash of food and drinks and stationed herself in a corner where we couldn’t get any photos of her. But she certainly enjoyed the forage, and we saw her still searching around for leftovers hours later!

A Well-Earned Rest

Monday, March 9th, 2015

For the first time in their lives, the Cle Elum Seven live in a place where the humans do all the work, while they spend their days however they please. Nothing is expected of them other than to be chimps. Occasionally the chimps enjoy watching us while we work, but the majority of the time they’re off doing their own thing, and are supremely unconcerned with our aching muscles and tired minds. Exactly as it should be.

Today volunteer caregiver Becca delivered about a dozen boxes of donated produce (courtesy of the generous folks at Darwin’s Natural Pet Products) from Seattle. Becca and staff caregiver Keri went to work processing the produce right away.


Meanwhile, the chimpanzees were doing what they do best.









Content Jamie

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Today is a gorgeous spring day with clear skies, the temperature is in the mid-60s, and everyone is in a great mood. It seemed like a great day for a picnic, so we set up a forage outside and everyone—including fair-weather gal Negra—ventured out for their lunch.

When they’re not outside, the chimps have been relaxing in the greenhouse mostly, but Jamie popped into the front rooms to get a good look out the window to see what JB and Diana’s dogs were up to (they’re enjoying the weather, too!)

I was able to take some photos of the boss in this calm moment. She was happy to let me do so, as long as I promised to show her the photos afterwards. She watched as I flipped through the photos on the camera screen—I took a couple dozen, at least! Once she was satisfied she returned to the greenhouse.

These are the best photos out of the bunch that I took: