Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Snoozy afternoon

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

We are having a warm, overcast end-of-summer day today and while the chimpanzees and humans are loving the perfect temperatures, everyone seems to be feeling on the snoozy side this afternoon. The chimpanzees spent a lot of time out on Young’s Hill today and shortly after everyone finished exploring I went to look in the playroom to see what they were up to. But everyone seemed to be squirreled away in their nests along the catwalks in the playroom, out of camera range.

So I went out to the greenhouse and heard nothing but the breeze rustling the bamboo. But just as I turned to leave, I heard a slight play thump and I looked up on the very top tier and spotted this sweet guy:


With all the ladies resting indoors, Burrito appeared to be enjoying a peaceful napping spot while soaking up the warmth of the sun coming through the top tier of the greenhouse.






Jody’s eyes

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Over six and a half years ago, J.B., Diana, Sarah, and Keith all visited the chimpanzees while they were still in the Buckshire lab. J.B. wrote this entry about Jody and how the first thing he noticed about her were her striking eyes. After living at CSNW now for over six years, I think they are even more vibrant now than they ever have been before.




It’s a forage kind of day

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Today we put out a breakfast forage in the Greenhouse and a lunch forage on Young’s Hill.

Annie enjoyed the tangerines, while Burrito pretty much enjoyed every single morsel of food he could find at breakfast.




Jamie loved her tomatoes!

Missy was the first one to find the small sugar pumpkin (part of today’s lunch forage on Young’s Hill) on top of the wooden platform and quickly brought it to the Greenhouse.



Jody was quick to take over Missy’s find. She proceeded to bring the treat into the Playroom to enjoy.


Then it was Negra’s turn.


Jody and Annie were nearby in case Negra decided to share. Here Jody can be seen peering toward Negra.


Annie’s 40th

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

We celebrated Annie’s 40th birthday today! Her exact birthday is unknown since she was captured in the wild, but her records indicate that she was born sometime in 1974, and today is the day we picked to celebrate it. Annie certainly doesn’t act 40 at all! She’s still very young at heart—she shows her playful side daily when wrestling with Missy or running around Young’s Hill.

We wanted to celebrate her special day with some of her favorites—green grass, beets, green onions, piñatas, buckets of water, shovels, and chow! Thanks to some supplies Lisa Stuverud brought us we had a fun colorful party with new enrichment, too. We set up a breakfast forage first, and then volunteer Becca served Annie’s favorite veggies at lunch.

Here’s the party setup:


I love this photo — you can see the juice from the tangerine spraying to the side! Good shot by Elizabeth.

Annie with a mouthful of chow (she loves to wadge chow!)

Annie loves green grass, so we picked some for her and included bunches of it in their breakfast forage:

Some of her favorite veggies are green onions and beets:



The other chimps enjoyed the party too! Burrito the charmer practically posed during the forage for this photo:

Everyone loved the fruit! Here’s Jamie:




Missy loved the green grass:

And Jody ended up getting the piñatas (there was a Dora the Explorer piñata too, but that was torn up before we could snap a photo!)


Foxie got a new troll and some knuckle rubs from Diana, which made her laugh:

And Negra spent a lot of time in hard-to-see spots during the day, but I did get this picture of her beautiful relaxed face:

Happy 40th Birthday, Annie!

Building Trust

Monday, September 8th, 2014

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is what I like most about working at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW). My answer in part relates to my evolving relationship with the chimpanzees over the past two years, particularly my relationship with Negra.

I first started training to become a caregiver over a year ago and Jamie was quick to demand I be her friend. It wasn’t long after, that Foxie began passing her troll dolls to me and Burrito constantly enlisted me in a game of chase. Even the shy Annie would extend her fingers through the metal fence to touch the back of my hand when no one else was looking. Jody would sometimes bounce up and down (a chimpanzee greeting) towards me when I called her name, while Missy would present her back up to the caging for me to groom. Negra, on the other hand would barely even acknowledge that I was present.

As the months rolled by, Negra started to look in my direction when I would greet her (which was usually me calling out her name and giving her a head nod). Then came the day she gave me a quick head nod in return to my greeting and I teared up. Here she was, this 40 year old chimpanzee (at the time), who had endured almost her entire life in biomedical research labs, was giving me, a new human, a greeting. After all that time spent behind bars, she was beginning to trust me.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that she actually came down from her blanket nest and stuck her lips out to offer me a kiss. I had to blink back the tears; she trusted me. I was doing my job to make her home a true sanctuary where she felt she could trust again. And that to me, is what this sanctuary is all about.

So, what do I love most about working at CSNW? I love that I am working to provide a safe, loving, nurturing home so that these seven chimpanzees can feel hope, love and trust again.

Here are a few of my favorite Negra photos from the past two days.

Negra taking a little break from foraging in her cabin on Young’s Hill.

Negra with broccoli in her mouth making her way back to the Greenhouse.

Negra (on the right) sits quietly next to Annie (on the left) as she finishes her oranges.

Negra relaxing in her blanket nest in the Playroom after eating.

New Boot Protocol

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

When Jamie gets a new pair of boots, she likes to have a caregiver model them first. Here’s Debbie showing off new boots from Lisa Stuverud yesterday. (Jamie didn’t seem to mind that the boots were too small for Debbie.)


Then Jamie usually demands that the caregiver modeling the boots accompany her on a walk around Young’s Hill. When that’s done, Jamie’s ready for us to give her the boots. She spends some time inspecting them closely. Yesterday she even licked them.




Annie and Foxie

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Foxie and Annie both have a habit of getting mouthfuls of water and holding it for awhile. Annie sometimes uses the water later to wash her face, and Foxie tends to just take her time to slurp. Today they happened to both have mouthfuls of water, while in the playroom, and while looking at each other. They look like they’re having some kind of stand off.


Then Annie started to groom Foxie (they still had their mouths full) briefly.


And Foxie looked through some enrichment, testing out the trolls that were in front of her.





Good old summertime days

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Missy and Annie are usually found on the go. Running, leaping, laughing, wrestling, and more running every chance they get. But with the first sudden hints of autumn in the air, I caught them both taking advantage of the lingering end-of-summer days and the warmth of the greenhouse.

Missy, just being her cool self:


And right next to Missy, her best friend, Annie, of course. Relaxing in classic Annie style:



These feet!!


Unbelievably, we will be celebrating this beautiful chimpanzee woman’s 40th birthday on September 10th! Maybe she is resting up for the big party.

Beautiful chimps

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but the Cle Elum Seven are really attractive chimpanzees. Just look at these beautiful faces:





Foxie trying her hand at rock climbing

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Today we took advantage of the cooler weather and put the chimpanzee’s lunch out on Young’s Hill for them to forage. These forages often consist of pieces of vegetables, fruit and chow and we spread them around the hill for the chimpanzees to find. Sometimes we even put some of the food on top of the treat rock (one of the prominent features of Young’s Hill). Jamie and Burrito are the chimpanzees most likely to be seen climbing on the rock in search of food. But today, Foxie tried her hands (and feet) on the rock after all of the other chimpanzees had gone back inside. This is the first time I have seen Foxie on the treat rock!

Here she is sticking her arm in a hole to grab a few pieces of chow.

Here she is trying to get in better position.


She began traversing across the treat mound in search of more food.


Once she got all of the food pieces, she began to prepare for her dismount from the treat rock.

Finally, safe on the ground, she enjoyed the food she found on her climbing adventure.

I also managed to capture Jody, with her mouth and hands full of red cabbage and brussel sprouts.