Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Summer mornings

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Our recent heatwave is on the down-slide, but it’s still quite warm and the chimps and humans are each enjoying the summer days in their own way. After breakfast, most of the chimpanzees headed for the still cool grass of Young’s Hill (with the exception of Negra who took a break from her adventures for the day and made a nest at the top of the greenhouse where she could enjoy the morning breeze). Annie chose to take a walk up the hill bipedally to join Foxie and her troll. If you look closely you can spot the troll’s red hair on Foxie’s back.






Missy took her breakfast chow and literally ran out to climb up a structure where she could enjoy it with a view:


Jody was the first to head out onto Young’s Hill this morning and quickly disappeared into the tall grass to forage for wild greens before her buddy, Burrito, could catch up with her. So he opted to sit in the raceway which leads from the greenhouse to the hill and enjoy the morning sun with me, remaining on the lookout for Jody’s return.



After a busy morning on the hill, by late morning things got pretty warm and Jamie sprawled out in a comfy nest to cool off and doze in the summer breeze.





How profoundly grateful we are that the chimpanzees’ days are filled with such serenity, comfort and peace. Thanks to all of you who make the hours, days and seasons of their lives so beautiful.


Monday, June 27th, 2016

Once in awhile we make bubbles for the chimps with a small drop of non-toxic dish soap. They seem to like how the bubbles feel in their mouths.

Today is in memory of Susan

Monday, June 27th, 2016

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jennifer and James Douglas to honor the memory of their dear friend, Susan von Beck Turner, and her legacy of care and compassion. Jen and James shared that “Susan touched the lives of many dogs and humans and made them better.”

Susan made a difference in the lives of so many dogs. It was her lifelong passion to rescue them and she saved hundreds, healing their health and spirits and finding them forever homes. When Susan’s own dog, Cardiff, began failing in health and she was unable to find the kind of boarding care she wanted for him, she decided to leave her job and went on to build a well-respected and successful dog boarding facility, Cardiff’s Lodge, here in Washington.

Jen and James, thank you so much for celebrating Susan’s life with such a compassionate and generous gift for the chimpanzees. We are profoundly grateful for all that you do for them and we are honored to celebrate such a special soul today. To you, and Susan’s family and friends, our thoughts are with you all and we hope that your memories of Susan bring you the joy, love and comfort that she provided to so many others.




After Hours

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

After dinner each day, most of the chimps grab their blankets and bed down for the night.






But for Jamie, the day is just getting started.

Jamie likes to be in control. It’s hard to say whether this is a result of spending decades in a research lab where she was absolutely powerless, or whether this would have been her personality regardless of the circumstances she was born into, in which case it’s even sadder to imagine her stuck in a cage with no choices and no control over her life.

But not to worry; Jamie is making up for lost time. One of the ways she exerts her newfound power is by keeping the staff at work after hours. Before we go home each night, we close the door to Young’s Hill and make sure all the chimps are safe inside the building. As long as the door to Young’s Hill remains open, the staff are required to stay at the chimp house. Jamie is aware of this policy and will often run at top speed to throw her body into the doorway to prevent us from closing the door. This serves the dual purpose of buying her extra time outside in the evening, as well as extra time with her human friends/minions.


Until recently, Jamie has been the only one to take advantage of this “loophole.” She will keep her caregivers at work until 9 or 10pm some evenings, while the other chimps are snoozing away inside. But this summer Jamie has had some company during her after hours adventures. The other chimps are starting to see the appeal of warm, peaceful summer evenings outside.







Taking it all in

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Jamie has been taking in the views of her kingdom for the last hour. Caregiver in tow wearing Jamie’s chosen cowgirl boots du jour, of course.






A Strawberry Solstice

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

One of the chimpanzees’ favorite summertime happenings is their garden. Volunteer caregiver, Denice, and staff caregiver, Keri, are the driving forces behind this beautiful project each year. It not only helps us supplement the chimpanzees’ food supply, but it provides them with enrichment while adding beauty to their home.

As soon as the weather turned warmer this year the chimpanzees immediately started looking out the windows of the playroom to see if the garden had magically appeared overnight. Once things start growing we get to harvest fresh fruit and vegetables for them almost daily and they LOVE getting to choose what they would like and have their caregivers hand it to them straight from the garden!


With our first full day of summer arriving yesterday in conjunction with the stunning full Strawberry Moon last night, I thought it only appropriate to have a small strawberry feast this afternoon to celebrate. Volunteer caregiver, Ally, picked through the chimps’ strawberry patch as they watched from the greenhouse and then served everyone the fresh berries, still warm from the (official!) summer sun.


Burrito and Jody watch Ally in the distance. The entire time, Annie was banging her feet on the caging and Foxie was blowing raspberries to hurry Ally along with the strawberry picking:












Missy decided to wait down by the onion patch, but she was happy for a handful of strawberries:

web_missy_handful_of strawberries_window_kd_IMG_3731

And Queen Negra opted to avoid all the excitement in the greenhouse and wait it out in the comfort of her nest until I hand delivered some strawberries to her. She climbed down from her nest at Negra-style warp speed and though she was not interested in having her photo taken, she enjoyed her strawberries in peace with a view of the flower garden.


Year Four

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

In celebration of CSNW’s 8th Anniversary, we are taking a trip down memory lane. Today we look back on the chimpanzees’ fourth year at the sanctuary.

By the beginning of Year Four, we had a long-standing dream of expanding the sanctuary and giving the chimpanzees a spacious, open-air outdoor habitat, unlike anything they had experienced in their lives.

Young's Hill – The Dream from Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest on Vimeo.

By the summer of 2011, thanks to help from supporters Karen and Don Young and so many others, Young’s Hill was nearing completion.

the hill

The chimpanzees were able to watch the construction from the greenhouse, but it’s hard to say what they thought of it. We hoped that they knew it was for them. They were certainly curious.

As the big day approached, we all tried to predict how the chimps would react to the door to Young’s Hill being opened for the first time.

log bridge

For most of them, this would be the first time in their long lives that they would feel grass under their feet and have an unimpeded view of the sky above. We guessed that they would probably be too apprehensive to stay outside for long on the first day, and that some of them would likely be too afraid to venture out at all.

We should have known not to underestimate them.

On the day that the door to Young’s Hill was opened for the first time, all of the chimpanzees showed astonishing courage by stepping eagerly into the great unknown. Watch video of their exhilarating first moments outside. It was an emotional day for the chimps and for all the humans who love them.

The opening of Young’s Hill set off a series of firsts for the chimpanzees that year. It was the first time they were sharing a habitat with other creatures, and they had to deal with a lot of strange noises.

Having lived in indoor or partially-indoor enclosures for their entire lives, they had never fully experienced weather or seasons. On Young’s Hill they encountered sun, wind, rain, and snow.

Despite their burst of courage and adventurousness on the first day, not everyone felt immediately at home outside. We saw the more confident chimps support and encourage the more hesitant individuals.

We all got chills seeing the chimps behave like a wild troop for the first time, now that they had a territory to patrol.

web four chimps on YH bamboo IMG_2193

And we continued to be amazed as they stretched their legs and their horizons.

Today is for David!

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Our third generous sponsor for today is Jeanette Gann whose gift is in honor of David Gann! Jeanette, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees as you honor David today! This is such a compassionate gift and we are grateful for the difference you make in the chimps’ lives, helping to ensure that all their days are ones of peace, serenity, joy and love. And your gift comes at such an important time when you are not only helping to guarantee a home of sanctuary for these seven amazing chimpanzees, but for other chimpanzees in need who are awaiting their new life in sanctuary.

David, we hope your day is filled with all the good things, just as you’ve helped provide for the chimpanzees today! Have an amazing day!!

This wonderful guy, Burrito:




Thank you, Birgit!

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

We are so fortunate to have THREE Sponsor-a-Day gifts  today! Our second sponsor for this wonderful day is Birgit Neher! It’s amazing to think of people from entirely different corners of the world all thinking of the chimpanzees and wishing to make a difference in their lives as they honor a special time or person in their own lives. Especially on the same day. There is so much beauty and inspiration in that.

Birgit, thank you so much for holding the chimpanzees in your heart! All of us here at CSNW hope this day is filled with the love, joy and comfort you help to ensure their lives are filled with every day. We are truly grateful to you for thinking of the chimps today and giving them a life of sanctuary, inside and out.

Foxie and Kate:





Jamie beautiful

Happy Birthday, Julie!

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Karen Olson in honor of her sister, Julie Olson, on her birthday! You may recall that Julie recently sponsored Karen’s birthday for the chimpanzees! Karen shared this special message about today:

“Happy Birthday to the best big sister anyone could ever have. Julie is kind to everyone, humans and animals alike. She will be happy to share her special day with the Cle Elum Seven!”

Karen and Julie, what a wonderful idea to trade the gifts of sponsoring a day of sanctuary for one another and the chimpanzees! Thank you so much! And Julie we hope that your birthday is the best one yet, full of all the good things that you bring to the lives of others.

Missy (left) and her best friend, Annie (right), being their usual joyful and goofy selves: