I took these photos yesterday during the quiet afternoon. I generally take a ton of photos and delete most of them. When I looked through this series to edit and delete, however, I had a difficult time selected photos to trash.
On Sunday, the chimps got to use the new door for the first time. We do our best to keep things interesting around here, but the facility itself doesn’t change that often, so the chimps are always very excited and very curious to see the improvements.
Anytime there is a major change, whether in the social group or in their environment, the chimps like to reassure each other and seek comfort amidst the excitement. You’ll notice a lot of greeting, hugging, and submissive behavior in this video (Foxie kissing Burrito, Jody greeting me with a “genital bounce”, Annie kissing Jody, Annie and Missy submitting to Burrito who is off-camera).
We serendipitously discovered that the chimpanzees appreciate having fire hoses hanging just outside the door. The hoses were there previously, but once we installed the door, many of the chimps used them to climb from the door up to the the platform outside without setting foot on the wet ground. That’s one of the strange things about caring for ex-lab chimps (any captive chimps, really). Wet ground is a fact of life for free-living chimps, but it can be unpleasant and even terrifying for individuals who have spent a lifetime indoors. We used to place tractor tires outside so that Foxie could use them as stepping stones, but now we’ll have to hang some more fire hose by the other door.
Seven chimpanzees arrived at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in June of 2008 after years of testing and breeding in biomedical laboratories.
Sanctuary caregivers immediately began documenting the chimpanzees' emerging personalities and transformations at the sanctuary by taking photos and recounting events.
View hundreds of photos and read stories unique to each year within the three books produced by Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. The books are available individually or as a set in either hardcover or softcover. Get yours today!
Out of the Box 2013 was a big success! $126,000 raised after expenses, with $45,000 going towards the mobile veterinary clinic! Thanks to all who attended, donated items, sponsored, volunteered, bid and gave online!!