Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

The New Annie

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Just a few years ago, Annie was glued to her best friend Missy’s side. Missy was Annie’s security blanket, and she followed her everywhere. Annie was afraid to be alone.

That’s not the case anymore. These days it’s not uncommon to see images like this one of Annie enjoying some solitude on Young’s Hill this morning:


She sat there for several minutes until Missy, who had been doing her own thing further up the hill, came over to say hi.




Missy sat down next to Annie and they hung out together for awhile, taking in the view.




Eventually, Missy decided to head inside to the greenhouse. Old Annie would have followed.



But new Annie is plenty confident in her own company.




Stirring Up Trouble

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Jamie does not live in the moment. She is a thinker and a planner. Sometimes you can see her wheels turning and you have to wonder what she’s up to. As the leader of her group she performs frequent dominance displays, but with Jamie, they don’t always seem to be about dominance. Or at least not solely about dominance. Sometimes it seems that Jamie displays because she’s bored and wants to stir up a little excitement.

This happens a lot when all of the other chimpanzees are settled down, quiet and doing their own thing. Jamie struts around the room, assessing the situation and planning her strategy.


Then her hair stands on end, she pant hoots, drums on her go-to plastic barrel, and ends by screaming and throwing the barrel across the room.


She then quickly looks around to see if she got anyone riled up. If not, she tries again. And again. Eventually the other chimps can’t help but get caught up in the excitement. Pant hoots are like yawns to chimps – they’re contagious. Once the chimp house is a cacophony of noise, Jamie seems to feel like she’s done her job and she’s finally able to settle down.








Thank you, Joanna!

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Joanna Morris in honor of the chimpanzees! Joanna shared how much she loves the chimps’ different personalities and today she wants to celebrate each of these amazing beings.

Joanna, thank you so much for not only recognizing and honoring how special and unique each of the chimpanzees are, but for helping to give them the lives they deserve in their sanctuary. We are so grateful to you for your compassion and generosity!

Best friends, Missy and Annie playing chase on Young’s Hill:


Courageous Foxie exploring with Dora:


Burrito accompanying Jody on one of her foraging adventures:

Burrito and Jody with bamboo

And of course, Boss Jamie and Queen Negra:

Negra kiss Jamie

What a perfect Sponsor-a-Day to be gifted with as we kick off our Share the Chimp Love¬†fundraiser for Valentine’s Day! See how your support has not only changed the lives of Annie, Missy, Foxie, Burrito, Jody, Jamie and Negra, but has also made it possible for us to begin our Sanctuary Expansion Fund so that other chimpanzees in need may experience the hope, love, home and sanctuary they deserve.

Burrito’s invisibility cloak

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Burrito is known for his ridiculously adorable shenanigans. And today was no different. (There are some blurry action shots that I just couldn’t leave out).











Despite the blur of Burrito, I love his huge play face you can just make out under the veil. At this point, he jumped down to begin a raucous game of tug o’ war with the scarf. This guy.


Happy Birthday, Meg!

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by the chimps’ good friend, Meg Lunnum! Meg has been a long-time supporter of the chimpanzees and their sanctuary home and she shared this message about today:

“Today is my birthday and my birthday wish is for the chimpanzees to have new roommates. I understand this is a real possibility and I am so excited.”

Meg, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees today and always! We have such an exciting year ahead as we begin to move forward with our plans for expanding the sanctuary and the chimps’ family. How very special it is to have you as part of our sanctuary family as we watch the chimps’ lives grow in so many wonderful ways. Thank you so much for recognizing and honoring them, and all animals, as the amazing individuals they are. All of us here at the sanctuary send you Happy Birthday hoots!! We’re so glad you are in the world!

Your pal, Queen Neggie:




Today’s blog, by Foxie

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

It’s one of my favorite things to write the blog and have the opportunity to share the lives’ of the chimps with all of you. That said, there are just days when one has the words, but no photos, or vice versa. Today, for the life of me, I could not get a single photo as the chimpanzees have spent the majority of their day in the loft of the chimp house where it’s warm, grooming one another and napping.

I asked boss lady, Jamie, if she would please write the blog for me to which she responded by throwing a nut at my head. I took that as a “No.” At this point Foxie perhaps took pity on me and came into the smaller front rooms along the human hallway to play and she and I decided to take some “selfies.” Chimpanzees are self-aware and have the ability to recognize themselves and others in mirrors and photos. Many of the chimps enjoy seeing photos of themselves after we take them, or being able to see themselves on the camera as with an iPhone. Foxie particularly seems to enjoy this form of enrichment. So as I held the phone at a safe distance so she could see herself, I snapped the photos as she gestured. (While it’s not safe for the chimps to have a phone, or for us to have them touch it as we hold it, we have been fortunate to have supporters generously donate iPads that the chimps’ can safely interact with through the caging and they do enjoy this occasionally).

So here’s today’s blog, “by Foxie.” (Apologies for the quality, but we were laughing a lot!):







In this last photo, you can see Foxie is doing a “lip-flip” which I wrote about last week with Annie.

Off the beaten path

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

When I was a kid, I walked to the school bus down our half mile driveway every morning, rain, snow, or shine. Yes, I realize this sounds like your grandparent’s story of how they had to walk to school uphill both ways in a blizzard, but my story is true! During this time of year, the top layer of the snow would thaw and freeze repeatedly, forming a thick crust on the un-plowed fields of snow that surrounded our icy driveway. If the snow crust was strong enough to support our weight, we could take a shortcut to the bus through our fields and shave off a good five minutes of walking time. We always ran the risk of breaking through the top layer and having our legs plunge into the softer snow below.

Today, Annie reminded me of my childhood, as I saw her gingerly walk on the top delicate ice layer that has covered the 8 or so inches of snow we still have at the sanctuary. She bravely took a shortcut from the plowed pathway that J.B. made the other day, to one of the structures in the middle of the hill.

The other chimpanzees (Foxie seen here), still seem to stick to the less treacherous plowed pathways.

Annie continues to surprise us with her intrepid outdoor exploration.

20 snapshots of the day

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

I probably could never quite explain how ecstatic we all were to wake up to sunshine and beautiful clear blue skies this morning. We couldn’t wait to start shoveling the chimps’ walkway on Young’s Hill and fluff it up with fresh, dry straw so that they could enjoy their morning outside.

As we prepped the walkway the chimpanzees were so excited, intermittently watching us and playing and laughing with one another inside.


Once I opened the door to the hill I couldn’t believe my eyes when who but Negra was leading the group outside! You can just see her head peeking out from in front of Missy at the head of the line. Then we have Annie, Foxie and Jamie bringing up the rear with one of her new snow shovels (Burrito was the one person who opted to stay inside and eat snow from the raceway door, but he’s been enjoying a day of Burrito-style antics with his caregivers):



I put a straw path up to one of the swinging tires, always a favorite spot to check for ice treats. Jody headed straight for it and quickly made her way back to the greenhouse with her prize. The trick was getting around boss lady, Jamie, with her treat undetected.


But the boss had work to do so Jody was able to sneak by.




Annie enjoying her solitude:


But she was so happy when her best friend, Missy, arrived and greeted her with a kiss and a hug:



Foxie rubs her toes together when she’s happy and content and if you look close you can see she seemed to be pretty pleased to be enjoying the morning outside with her troll:


Jamie was in her element this morning as she proudly surveyed her snow covered kingdom:




Foxie and troll headed back inside after stopping to collect snow on the way:




Annie was the last to head inside, but had to stop briefly to readjust her huge mouthful of snow:



Jamie still had a little work to do:


Negra didn’t stay out long, but she made it quite away out to collect snow and then returned to her favorite sunny spot inside the greenhouse to enjoy it, along with Jody.


It’s been a good day at the sanctuary! The chimpanzees have spent a lot of time outside enjoying some warmer temperatures and even more time at the top of the toasty greenhouse grooming and napping. Blue skies and sunshine have worked wonders and been a welcome respite from our crazy winter for all the primates here today.

Happy Birthday, Shelly!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Michael Horton in honor of his sister, Shelly Horton, on her birthday! Michael shared this wonderful message about today:

“My sister is the biggest chimpanzee fan in the world. In lieu of pursuing a career in Primatology, which is something she always wanted and still wants, she chose to become a teacher so 10-year-olds across our community will always be aware of the plight of the chimpanzee.”

In having the good fortune of getting to know Shelly as one of our incredible supporters, it’s been so wonderful to learn of her long-time love and respect for chimpanzees. Through her dedication and passion to help bring awareness to the issues chimpanzees face, she helps inspire her daughter and students so that they might feel empowered to make a difference in the world around them. What an incredible gift to give, not only for the chimpanzees, but for a young generation that the future of chimpanzees will depend upon.

Michael, thank you so much for celebrating Shelly by making the chimps’ lives better! We appreciate all that you and your family do for them and are thrilled to honor Shelly here today!

Shelly, thank you for all the support you, Lainey, and your students have shown the chimpanzees, we so appreciate all that you do! Never underestimate the ripple effect your compassion will have in the world. All of the primates here at CSNW wish you the best birthday yet surrounded by all that makes your heart happy!! And to start your day off, we’re sharing photos of people in your life who I know do just that:

Shelly’s adorable daughter, Lainey, with her impressive stuffed primate collection, begun by her mom:


We recently shared copies of “A Chimpanzee Tale” by Karen Young with Shelly’s amazing 5th grade students in Texas. They made the chimpanzees a beautifully detailed Christmas tree and birthday cards for Burrito in celebration of his recent 33rd birthday! We so appreciate the care and interest these children show for the chimpanzees and are thrilled to see them making a difference in the chimps’ lives as they learn about the amazing beings we share the earth with.


And of course, Shelly’s handsome pal, Burrito:



Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Have you ever noticed a photo of the chimpanzees looking larger and “fluffier” than normal? Having hair that is pilo erect means that it involuntarily stands on end due to excitement, fear, or cold. Humans become pilo when we get goosebumps, and since we have less hair, it’s less obvious. Another example of piloerection is when a dog’s hackles go up. Looking to see if a chimpanzee is pilo or not helps caregivers gauge their arousal level. I perused through some of our old photos and videos to find some good examples of each chimpanzee demonstrating piloerection.


Burrito spends a great deal of his time in a “fluffy” state, so it was very easy to find a pilo picture:


Annie (possibly pilo because she is running through the cold):
web Annie pilo erect run in snow towards raceway yh IMG_2754

Jamie (about to display):


I had a tough time finding a photo of Negra with pilo erect hair, but that’s because she’s usually in action during a fight. In the following video from a couple years ago, you can see Negra and others during a conflict. Watch for some good examples of piloerection: