Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Happy Birthday, Diana!

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

There is so much to celebrate today! Not only is tonight our annual auction and gala, Hoot!, but it also happens to be our Co-Director, Diana Goodrich’s, birthday! An anonymous friend of the chimps appears to have been in cahoots with their pal, Jamie, and “helped” her sponsor this day for Diana along with sending this sweet message:

“When Jamie asked to borrow my credit card, I got suspicious…more cowboy boots ??? Not this time, she wanted to sponsor a day for one of her best friends, Diana, on her birthday! She said she hopes it will be one of the best birthdays ever!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA!!! Love Jamie”

Thank you so much to Jamie and her co-conspirator for sponsoring this special day for Diana!! The chimps and humans alike couldn’t be more fortunate to have such an amazing, compassionate and dedicated person to call our friend and colleague. Happiest of birthday hoots to you from us all, Diana!! Thank you so much for all you do to make the lives of so many others the best they can be.


Today is in memory of Baby H

Monday, April 25th, 2016

We receive so many beautiful Sponsor a Day tributes from our amazing supporters. We are always deeply touched by the inclusion of the chimpanzees in the many moments that make up such an important part of everyone’s hearts and lives. And today there is an exceptionally special and touching tribute. Megan Hood and her husband share this message:

“My husband and I lost our baby during pregnancy. He was due on April 25, 2016. I just recently read about Foxie’s story and instantly felt a connection with her and the loss and separation of her children. I’ve loved looking at pictures of her and her dolls. I’m happy that she has her trolls to care for as if they were her babies.”

Megan, sometimes there are no words for the experiences and heartbreak we endure in life. But we want to express our heartfelt sympathy to you and your husband for the loss of your son. We are so glad that you have found a connection to Foxie and her children that brings you happiness and we’re truly touched that you would choose to honor the memory of your baby boy by making a difference in the lives of the chimpanzees. Knowing all that each of the chimpanzees have been through and then seeing their capacity for love and healing astounds us daily. And we are sending you all the good thoughts and wishes for the comfort, love, joy and serenity that you are helping provide for Foxie and her family. Thank you so very much.

foxie kiss troll





web Foxie love new troll enrichment close up DSC_0264

Love a Chimpanzee Day 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

The Cle Elum 7 had a brunch forage to celebrate Love a Chimpanzee Day. Make sure to watch to the very end of the video to give yourself just one more reason to rejoice!

Today is for chimpanzees, Monica, and Gary Best

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Several years ago (seven to be exact!), the chimpanzees’ good friend and supporter, Monica Best, chose to celebrate her birthday by proclaiming April 23rd “Love a Chimpanzee Day” and she has sponsored it each year since for the chimpanzees. And this year as we celebrate chimpanzees and Monica we are also celebrating in memory of Monica’s dad, Gary Best.

Monica, you have the biggest heart, full of generosity and compassion. We are so grateful to you for all you do not only for the chimps, but for so many other animals in the world. We are honored to celebrate your dad here today – he must have been quite a man to have a daughter like you. All of us here are wishing you a day full of the comfort, love and joy you provide for so many others.

Happy Birthday, Monica, and Happy Love a Chimpanzee Day!




So much light

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

If you are new to the blog, something we write about often is the chimpanzees’ enrichment. One of the biggest challenges we face with captive chimpanzees (and all animals really) is keeping their intelligent and active minds busy. In the wild chimpanzees are busy patrolling large territories, foraging for food and navigating the dynamics of large families. So even the best captive situation cannot provide the mental stimulation chimps receive in their natural wild lives.

We have two calendars in the chimp house, one for daytime enrichment and one for evening enrichment. Daily enrichment is given a theme such as “blue things,” “troll scarves,” or “beach day” and is really to help us caregivers think outside the box a bit and keep things interesting for the chimps by presenting their enrichment in different ways each day. Evening enrichment is provided each evening after dinner and consists of some kind of food puzzle which keeps the chimps engaged in an activity as we close up the chimp house for the night.

Today’s enrichment theme was “giant pile” day meaning we deposited all of the chimps’ toys, activities and blankets into a giant mountain of a pile in the playroom after cleaning. Jamie was thrilled and promptly took over the entire pile (much to Negra’s chagrin who was sitting above her on the catwalk, looking disgusted with the humans’ “bright idea,” waiting for the opportunity to steal some blankets away for her nest).

But the boss lady had no shame in making the coziest nest ever (with 30 blankets) and loved being able to check everything of interest all within arm’s reach. She spent some quality time relaxing with her beloved boot, reading her new books, and occasionally glancing outside the barn doors to this beautifully peaceful spring day.

As I gaze at these photos Jamie allowed me to take I can’t help but think of the past she, and all the chimps, came from and the contrast of their lives now. What must it feel like for them to be at peace? To be surrounded by comfort, love and respect? To spend their time doing what feels best to each of them? The look of well-being and contentment and the light in Jamie’s eyes speaks volumes. And it makes my heart sing for her.









Jody’s rough day

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Jody is the master, or shall we say mistress, of leading a blissful life. She spends the better part of any given day doing exactly what pleases her most in each moment. And today those moments were composed of foraging and lounging in the hot greenhouse. On repeat. Just as it should be.





Today is in memory of Linda

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary, sponsored by Lisa and Rich Stuverud, is in memory of Linda Vizzare and is about the celebration of life in all it’s many forms, along with those we love. Lisa shared this beautiful message about today:

“We, Rich and I, want to celebrate this special day because Linda and I shared it as our birthday. We wanted to celebrate and share it with Jamie, Negra, Jody, Missy, Annie, Foxie, Burrito and everyone involved in supporting CSNW because through our involvement with the sanctuary we have found our own kind of sanctuary and we are forever grateful.”

Lisa and Rich, you and your family do so much to make sure the chimpanzees’ days and lives are filled with joy, love and hope. We are so grateful to you all and touched by your heartfelt gift today. Our hearts are with you as you celebrate Linda and the lives and birthdays you shared together. May you find peace and comfort in your memories of her today.

And Lisa, Happy Birthday! May all of the love and kindness you so generously share with others come back to you tenfold and may this special day continue to bring you much to celebrate!

Happy birthday hoots and hellos from your pals, Burrito and Jamie:




Opening the doors to spring

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

It’s an incredibly lovely spring day at the sanctuary today. Every day for at least the last two weeks Missy has been asking us to open up the barn doors on the playroom. With minimal wind and temperatures close to 70 degrees, it’s finally warm enough to grant her request. The chimpanzees get so excited when we open those doors up for some reason. Whether it’s the fresh breeze suddenly wafting through the playroom or the chance to check out the garden side of the chimp house they don’t get a clear view of from their windows, it elicits spring fever in us all.

As soon as the doors swung open, the chimps started hooting, laughing and chasing one another. Missy had the biggest play face I’ve ever seen (and of course, I didn’t have the camera at that moment!). As the fresh spring air spilled in, it was as if pure joy leaped and tumbled through the chimp house with it.

After the excitement died down, Jamie decided to build a super cozy next in front of the doors and just take in the peaceful view and sunshine:



Our bluebird neighbors have returned to their nesting spot on Young’s Hill (despite have three perfectly lovely bluebird houses set up for them elsewhere):


Jamie meandering during a walk around the hill and taking in the views:



In other news, Jody is lounging in the toasty greenhouse:


Welcome, spring!

Love at first sight!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

The amazing supporters of the sanctuary are always sending packages to Jamie that contain interesting pairs of cowboy boots. Today, staff caregiver Katelyn got to present Jamie with her newest donated pair to add to her collection.

Incurring the Queen’s Wrath

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Negra doesn’t pull any punches. She knows exactly what she’s willing to put up with and exactly what she isn’t and she has no problem letting you know where she stands. When we humans do something to displease her she typically threat barks at us, hits the caging, and if we’re in the greenhouse she throws (repeatedly and with force) bark mulch in our faces. If there is a chimpanzee equivalent to swearing, I am pretty sure we hear a lot of profanity directed our way. This in turn usually elicits the quick back-up of her chimp family against the offending human. What would we do to displease our beloved Queen Negra that would call for such reprimands you might ask? Oh, things like offer her something during meals that she already told you she doesn’t want. Serve something stupid when there is obviously a better choice right in front of us, like lettuce or night bags. And sometimes just hand her something she actually asked us for!

Over time, Negra has chosen to interact with her caregivers more and more. And given her particularly heartbreaking history, that’s no small gift. Negra loves us to dance for her and typically nods her head and taps the ground along with us. That said, if she suddenly decides our dancing skills aren’t up to par she gives us a disgusted wave of dismissal and turns her head away. Negra also frequently pushes her lips through the caging to offer us kisses and while we would never miss an opportunity to offer the back of our wrist for a Neggie kiss, it’s truly 50/50 as to if you’ll get a kiss or a sharp poke and a threat bark. As I type this Negra is clacking her teeth against the caging and clapping loudly to alert us to the fact that it is dinner time (and in her mind it has been for the last hour).

Negra is akin to the sharp-tongued, intolerant, sometimes a little bit scary older family member who tells it like it is and yet, you can’t help but love her all the more for it. And none of this means that Negra doesn’t have the most endearing, sweet side as well. Like most of us I suppose. We are thrilled she finally gets to have her say, speak her mind, and be heard with love and respect. Even if it does mean picking bark mulch out of places bark mulch has no business being for days afterward.

Beautiful Negra: