Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Happy Birthday, Erin!

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

We are so fortunate to have two of our amazing supporters sponsoring today’s day of sanctuary! This day was also sponsored by Erin McKenna, who has been part of the chimps lives for several years. Today happens to be Erin’s birthday and she is choosing to celebrate her special day by enriching the lives of the chimpanzees!

Erin, we hope you have a day fit for a Queen (Queen Negra, that is!). Thank you so much for all you do for the chimpanzees and for helping to ensure that all of Negra’s days are fit for the special person she is. We hope you know that you make a difference in all of the chimps’ lives and how much we (and they!) appreciate your support. Whether your celebration today includes a party, enjoying a peaceful summer day, or relaxing in a cozy nest (or all three), all of us here at the sanctuary wish you the happiest of days!




Happy Birthday, Doug!

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Natasha Yankoffski in honor of Doug Engmann! Natasha is a long-time friend and supporter of the chimpanzees who also works to help rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured marine mammals. Natasha shared this lovely message about today:

“August 3rd is my boss’ birthday. He is a very kind, caring & generous individual who is very supportive of my passion for wildlife conservation. I wanted to give him a unique holiday present and what better way to honor his caring spirit than to ensure that your wonderful chimps live their days in a safe, happy & fun environment (with lots of good things to eat!).”

Natasha, thank you so much for being such a wonderful advocate for not only the chimpanzees, but all animals. We truly appreciate your desire to make a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives as you honor Doug today.

Doug, thank you for your support of wildlife conservation and the passion of those who advocate on behalf of so many special beings. We hope you have the best birthday yet and a day full of celebration and joy. You sound like a wonderfully special being yourself and all of us here at CSNW send birthday pant-hoots your way! Happy Birthday!!

Annie enjoying pea tendrils and corn on the cob (and lips :) ):

Annie eat corn and pea tendrils

We are so fortunate to have two people sponsoring this day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees so please tune in later this morning to help us celebrate with our second sponsor! The chimpanzees have the best friends!

Happy Birthday, Diane!

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Diane Koosed who shared this lovely note: “Celebrating my birthday by feeling a bit connected to CSNW!”

Diane, thank you so much for your generous gift to the chimpanzees on your own special day! We are continually amazed at all of the connections these seven special beings draw not only to their lives, but to all our lives. Thank you for helping to ensure that all their days are filled with hope, love, home and sanctuary. May your day be filled with the same in return. From all of us here at CSNW, we wish you the happiest of birthdays!


Jamie eating corn 5

Foxie’s evening

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Each night after dinner the chimpanzees receive their food puzzle for the evening. This is typically a pretty exciting time and once everyone has their puzzle they find a quiet spot to enjoy their treats in peace and the chimp house begins to wind down for the day. This evening’s puzzle was frozen applesauce and banana in PVC tubes and I caught Foxie enjoying hers:



When the chimps finish their food puzzles, they usually head straight to their chosen sleeping spot for the night, blankets in tow, and begin making their nests (with the exception of boss Jamie who still has a lot of things to do). But this evening, Foxie decided to hang out as we finished the closing routine and seemed to be enjoying the peaceful time, occasionally glancing out the window next to her as the sun began to sink lower over the sanctuary.







About this time we gave Jamie her “boot package” for the evening. Jamie often requests her favorite “boots du jour” before we leave which we fill with enrichment items for the evening (such as a toothbrush, cup, comb, nail file, scarf, etc) and pass to her through a chute. As she also requested the boots she had me wearing at the time, I happened to be barefoot. And at the sight of bare human toes, Foxie thought it would be a fantastic time to play one last game of chase, interspersed with pirouettes, through the chimp house (never mind that people were settling down to sleep).

After a few minutes of play, we said goodnight to everyone and turned off the lights in the chimp area, answered by the chimpanzees giving nest grunts goodnight in return. Nest grunts are a vocalization that chimpanzees make when they are settling into their nests for the night as a way to check in with each other before they go to sleep. (Admittedly, it’s one of my absolute favorite moments of the day).

As I was closing the door to the chimp area I saw Ms. Foxie head out to the solitude of the greenhouse. I went to say goodnight and found that she had decided to camp out on the top platform, looking out over Young’s Hill, as she held Dora (with some wild hair) close to her. Goodnight dear Fox.


Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Rachel Ruggeri! Rachel recently sponsored a day of sanctuary in memory of her father, Robert. And today she generously chose to celebrate her own special day with the chimps and sends this message: “It is my birthday and since the chimps sent me a card, I want to send something to them!”

Rachel, it means so much to us that you have chosen to mark these special days in your life by making the chimpanzees’ lives better. And it means the world to them. All of the primates here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope your day is filled with all the love, compassion and joy you share with others!



Today is in memory of Robert Ruggeri

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Rachel Ruggeri in memory of her father, Robert Ruggeri. Rachel shared this note about today: “My father, who passed away on 7/25/13, loved animals big and small. We miss him dearly.”

Rachel, thank you so much for including the chimpanzees in remembering your father, Robert, today. You have both made a difference in their lives. All of us here at CSNW are so sorry for your loss and we are touched to be able to play a small part in honoring his life. What a lovely thing that he and love of animals continues to live on through you. We are all holding you and your family in our thoughts today.




An afternoon in the greenhouse

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Grooming is an important part of chimpanzee culture and whether in the wild or captivity, chimpanzees spend a lot of their time engaged in this behavior. If you think about it, so do we humans! Chimpanzees will groom each other or themselves to remove dirt and debris, attend to wounds, during times of relaxation, and most importantly to build and maintain bonds with one another. Grooming is key to social interactions and is often used by chimpanzees to gain support and remain in good standing not only in the community, but with higher ranking chimps.

The chimp house was very quiet this afternoon before lunch so I went to check on everyone and found several people grooming Jamie, as she basked in her role as the boss lady. (Clockwise: Jamie, Burrito, Foxie and Jody):


Jamie being groomed by Burrito in background:


Jody appointed herself the paparazzi police and immediately positioned herself next to me, at the ready to poke the camera should I continue to take photos of the boss. Though she eventually decided it was more fun to play a game of tickle (a rare Jody happening!):


Lunch service arrived and after a lot of excitement everyone headed up to the top of the greenhouse. (L to R) Foxie, Annie, Jamie, Negra (barely visible in between the blue chairs) and Jody:


Each of the chimpanzees has their way of attempting to gain the server’s attention, especially when they see something they really want (or want more of). Because Jamie is the most dominant in the hierarchy we typically offer things to her first. And she has no problem gesturing if she wants us to serve something other than what’s being offered at the moment for something she prefers on the tray. She will also let us know if there is a particular piece, or color, of fruit or vegetable she wants. For example, she will ask for red peppers over green if she sees them in the bowl and she refuses carrots that aren’t peeled. She will even gesture for us to return any offending carrots to the kitchen for peeling.

Foxie blows incessantly loud raspberries, Negra claps and sometimes clacks her teeth on the caging, Annie blows raspberries and stomps her feet, Missy shakes her head vigorously, and Jody just positions herself in front of the server. If someone is being served something she wants more of, she will just move in front of them or reach across to take it from the less dominant chimps. (This is all part of a normal chimp hierarchical society.) And then there’s Burrito who shakes, rattles and rolls, with a soundtrack of raspberries for pretty much everything on the menu. Just so we don’t forget he’s there…

Annie above and Burrito below (hair standing on end with excitement):


Missy pulls up a chair for her lunch:


On the other side of the caging was their server today, Whitney, one of our volunteer caregivers extraordinaire, getting a workout. Chimpanzees make for a rowdy lunch crowd.




Foxie decided to eat her lunch with me and made her way back to me with each serving to sit in the sun as I took photos next to her.


First course: tomatoes!


Back again with the second course: green peppers!


And finishing up the meal with primate chow in to-go bags:


Burrito, very pilo (hair on end), is often high arousal during mealtimes. Food is just very exciting if you’re Mr. B:


Jamie headed back inside with her chow to make an lunch nest:


Jamie in repose

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you are probably aware that as boss, Jamie has a lot of responsibility and she doesn’t take this lightly. If there aren’t humans to supervise or fellow chimpanzee politics to stay abreast of, there are projects to complete, and of course, perimeters to walk. I doubt there is enough time in the day for Jamie to complete everything she might be interested in doing.

But even the boss needs a break sometimes. Once she was sure we humans were busy cleaning the chimp house this morning as we were supposed to, she decided to take advantage of the blissfully cooler day (cool breeze included) and have a rest after breakfast. A cozy nest with her favorite sheets, one of her boots as a pillow, and the dozing commenced.



After enjoying a couple of walks around the hill with her caregivers later in the day, she decided an afternoon nap was in order as well and built a nest in front of the barn doors which look out over the chimps’ garden. Warm sun, a cool breeze, a troll, and a boot pillow make for a well deserved rest for a hard working lady.



Happy Birthday, Jeanna!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

This day of sanctuary was also sponsored by John Henderson in honor of Jeanna McClellan’s birthday! John shared the following message about today:

“Jeanna has taken a real interest in the chimps since learning about the sanctuary a few years ago. She has a particular soft spot for Burrito. We visited last summer around Jeanna’s birthday, but weren’t able to do it this year as she has just started law school and is taking an accelerated summer class.”

John, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees and including them in all that you and Jeanna have to celebrate. Jeanna, all of the primates here at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW wish you the happiest of birthdays! And congratulations on beginning law school! We wish you all the best in your new adventures.

The ever-charming, Burrito:


Today is in honor of Andrea

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Juliette Brush-Hoover in honor of her sister Andrea. Juliette shared this beautiful and touching message about today:

“Andrea was my younger sister who left this world way before her time. She was beautiful, hilarious, generous and creative. She loved to help people. And she loved monkeys. I know that chimps are technically apes but I don’t think this distinction would have mattered to Andrea. In memory of my sister’s birthday I am making this special donation to Chimp Sanctuary NW. Knowing the chimps will have a special day full of treats and surprises seems a fitting tribute to my fun loving sister.”

Juliette, we are so honored that you would think of the chimpanzees in remembering Andrea and celebrating her life today. We will be holding Andrea and you in our thoughts today, grateful for all the compassion you both hold and seeing her kind spirit carrying on in the world.

It sounds like Andrea may have had some things in common with fun-loving Foxie, shown here with sweet, Annie (left):