Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Today is in memory of Robert Morrow

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Peter Morrow in memory of Robert Morrow. There are so many moments and loved ones in life we all hold in our hearts and minds. And here at the sanctuary we are continually amazed and humbled by all the heartfelt memories and celebrations honored through such generosity and compassion for the chimpanzees.

Peter, thank you so much for choosing to make a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives in honoring Robert. We are happy to celebrate him here today and hope your day is filled with comfort and peace.


Annie putting her feet up

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The chimpanzees spent some time outside collecting their own snow today. But for the most part, everyone has been baking themselves in the sunny windows that look out over the valley below the sanctuary.

After lunch, Annie was quick to settle down in one of her favorite hot spots. When Annie is resting, and is content and relaxed, she loves to throw her legs in the air and kick them about or put them up against the window, intermittently clasping her feet together. Occasionally she throws in some feet clapping and Annie-bird noises (she whistles through her hands for this) for good measure.

Dear, sweet Annie…







First snow day

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

We all woke up to a couple inches of snow this morning and while the chimpanzees were not interested in going outside today, they were interested in eating the snow! Missy, Burrito and Annie were ready and waiting when I opened the door to Young’s Hill and immediately started food grunting when they saw the snow. They each took turns stretching out of the doorway to grab handfuls of the fluffy stuff. After breakfast was served, Jamie came in to nest bringing along of cup of snow to go that she had gathered:


Some of the chimps don’t mind collecting their own snow, but others are quick to figure out it’s much easier to just ask their caregivers to fetch it for them. Foxie sat at the window blowing raspberries with gusto until I brought a bucket in for them to snack on. After cleaning, we filled buckets with snow and sunflower and pumpkin seeds and you should have heard the excitement!




Jody inspected her options before relaxing with a big mouthful on the stairwell:




Burrito’s plan was to just grab a bucket and shovel in as much as possible:


And Foxie made the rounds and spent time at several buckets:


If you look closely, you can see Foxie rubbing her happy toes together.


And of course eating all that snow can make a person cold! So after the snow fest (which included snow in cowgirl boots!), Jamie bundled up to get warm:


I couldn’t get any photos of Negra as she is now frequenting her “winter” nesting area which is, of course, in a cozy corner out of sight. But rest assured the Queen had grabbed herself her very own bucket of snow snacks to enjoy from the comfort of her nest.

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.

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.



Bub in the Photo Studio

Monday, November 9th, 2015

This afternoon Burrito was hanging out in the “photo studio” (one of the chimpanzees’ front rooms named for its perfect lighting for pictures), so I decided to snap a few portraits!





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.




Happy Birthday, Dawn!

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jo Arroyo in honor of Dawn Garcia on her birthday! Jo and Dawn are long-time friends and supporters of the chimpanzees and Jo shared this beautiful message about today:

“I want celebrate Dawn on her birthday. Dawn’s heart is full of love for our planet, everyday she points out its beauty. She has the faith in humanity, that sometimes I lack. She is the most positive, happy person I know, she brings love and sunshine into my life. And so do the chimps we dearly love! They are the epitome of strength, courage, forgiveness, adaptability, and remind us to live in the moment! Thank you to the extraordinary individuals and all the donors who step-up everyday to give the chimps the closest thing to freedom!”

Jo, thank you so much for sponsoring this special day for Dawn and the chimpanzees! We are so grateful to you both for holding the chimps in your hearts. And Dawn, all of the primates here at the sanctuary wish you the happiest of days filled with all the beauty, joy and love you bring to life and inspire in others. Happy Birthday!!

I am pretty sure your pal, Burrito, would send some birthday pant-hoots your way!:



Food in different forms

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

One of the easiest ways to enrich the lives of chimpanzees is through food. We try and provide the Cle Elum 7 with as many different kinds of produce as possible in an effort to keep things exciting for them. Caregivers do their best to make sure the chimpanzees don’t have repeated fruits or vegetables when they prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only do we look for variety in food, but we also try and change up the ways in which we serve an item. For some meals we might roast a food like pumpkin, while other days we might choose to serve it raw. Each day the chimpanzees enjoy fresh fruit for breakfast, frozen fruit in their smoothie, and a couple pieces of dried fruit in their evening night bags, all to help increase food diversity!

Yesterday, volunteer caregiver Stephanie brought Brussel sprouts to contribute to the chimpanzees’ dinner. Instead of coming in the more traditional bag of “mini cabbages,” these Brussels sprouts were in their original stalk form. There were lots of food grunts and squeaks as Katelyn scattered the stalks around the playroom. Burrito and Jody were exceptionally successful foragers, but Negra was the easiest photography subject. She decided to eat her stalk in front room 4 (also known as the portrait studio).





Hitching a lift

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

As autumn transitions into steadily colder and darker days, the chimpanzees (even Negra!) have been extra busy on Young’s Hill. And thanks to the Armstrong family, with a new structure to explore, and new dolls to explore with, Foxie took her current favorite troll doll along to check things out. And JB got some ridiculously adorable photos!

One of Foxie’s most endearing habits is how she carries her dolls on her back. Chimpanzee mamas are highly invested in raising and nurturing their children. The bond they share is the same we experience with our human children. They carry their infants for about the first six months of their lives and then as the babies become strong enough to grasp for extended periods, they begin to ride around on their mother’s back. Chimpanzee children are highly dependent on their mothers and even as they grow and become more independent they remain in close contact for the first several years of their lives.

Foxie’s four children were all taken from her during her years in biomedical research and it’s emotionally appealing to think that she carries the dolls on her back with her children in mind. But we can never know what she’s truly thinking and it may just be a natural and effective way of carrying her beloved dolls with her when she’s on the go. Whatever the reason, though bittersweet, it never fails to warm our hearts and I think it’s safe to say, hers as well. And that’s what matters most.

Foxie and troll, on the go: