Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Happy Birthday, Arlene!

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

A weekend of celebration has been sponsored for the chimpanzees by Michael in honor of his wife, Arlene, for her birthday! Michael and Arlene are such wonderful friends to the chimps and we’re so happy to celebrate with them! Michael shared this sweet message about today:

“This is for Arlene’s birthday weekend!! I would like to sponsor today and tomorrow to my beautiful wife!! As this is all she wanted was to help the chimps.”

Michael and Arlene, thank you so very much for including the chimpanzees in your special celebration! We’re so grateful to have you as part of our chimp family. Your kind and compassionate hearts are a gift to them and make a lasting difference not only in their lives, but the world in general.

Arlene, all of us at CSNW hope your birthday weekend has been filled with all that brings you joy, comfort and love and wish you the happiest of birthdays yet! The chimps wishes might look something like this…

Annie and Missy wish you the love and companionship of friends and family (and stylish birthday fashion accessories):

Foxie wishes you adventures as often as possible:

Burrito, of course, wishes you all the good food you can possibly eat:

Jamie wishes you well, whatever you want:

Jody wishes you lots of lounging time:

And Negra wishes you a peaceful heart:

What’s in a Kiss?

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

You may have seen the video we posted the other day of Foxie giving kisses to some of the other chimpanzees to reassure them after a brief conflict broke out during her birthday party.

If you’re a chimp, a kiss can say a few different things: “Everything’s okay. Please calm down.” Or “I’m feeling a little nervous.” Or “Isn’t this exciting?!”

Today we set out a lunch forage on Young’s Hill. Jody and Missy both have the same foraging strategy. They make one big sweep of the area, gather as much food as they can carry, and then head back into the greenhouse to sit down and enjoy it. Missy was on her way to the greenhouse, trying not to spill any of her spoils, when Jody met up with her, also heading to the greenhouse. They stopped briefly for a kiss and breathy pant, which in this case was part: “This is great! I can’t wait to eat this food!” and part: “I have food. You have food. Everything’s okay.”

Thus reassured, they completed the trek to the greenhouse where they ate in peace.

Reflections of Annie

Monday, August 14th, 2017

We sometimes refer to some of the chimps as “human-oriented” and others as more of a “chimp’s chimp.” Individual histories and personalities have Jamie, Burrito and Foxie choosing to spend more time interacting with the humans than their other family members, Missy, Jody, Negra and Annie. While the latter folks are occasionally interested in engaging with the humans, it’s more their preference to spend time with their chimp family. And as much as we love interacting with the chimps when they choose to, their relationships with one another are the priority.

All of that said, over the years the “chimps’ chimps” have shown increasing interest in interacting with the humans. Negra could watch us dance for ages, Missy now leaps on the caging in excitement before running off for a game of chase with her caregivers and enjoys long grooming sessions with us, Jody spends more time greeting us throughout the day, and Annie, well, Annie’s continuing to bloom and grow in pretty much all areas of her life as you may have read before.

I’ve often felt that Annie shares many similar interests with Jamie. She’s curious, intelligent and creative and loves to check out new projects and enrichment. Where in the past she was often hesitant to do so could have been because of her less dominant position and Jamie typically taking things over, and maybe it’s just that now that she is feeling more comfortable in her own skin, safe and secure, she finally has the space to follow her interests and express herself, no longer having to look at the world around her through the filter of anxiety and fear. Whatever the reason, she is a pure joy.

Today I decided to see if she was interested in taking some “selfies” and checking herself out on the iPhone with the camera screen turned toward her. As we all are with dear Annie, she appeared quite mesmerized with her reflection:

Happy Birthday, Erin!

Friday, August 11th, 2017

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Erin Yuhas! Erin has been a friend to the chimps and the sanctuary for a long time and she shared this beautiful message about today:

“When I make my wish and blow out my candles I would know my wish came true if I were suddenly there with these chimps. I would give anything to spend every day with these chimps and with those of you who do all you do to help them to be free, happy, and healthy. I enjoy your photos and stories every day and can think of no better way to spend my birthday than partying with my friends, no matter what species they are. I would love to spend the day with all of you. Thank you for sharing their stories with me.”

Erin, we are so touched by your lovely message. Thank you so much for giving us all the opportunity to celebrate your special day with you and for making a lasting difference in the lives of the chimps! You are definitely here in spirit! And since you share a birthday month with Foxie and Missy, maybe if you do some flips, carry some trolls and Dora dolls around, drink smoothies and eat copious amounts of tomatoes all day long, it will help bring the spirit of these birthday ladies to you! 😉

Happy Birthday, Erin! All of us are wishing you a fantastic day of celebration, joy and love!



One of those weeks

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

There are some days, maybe even entire weeks, when things go wrong at the sanctuary. Not major things, mind you, but an accumulation of small “fires” that need to be put out. Shelves collapse in the kitchen (spraying juice everywhere), an innocent volunteer takes a pile of feces to the face, blankets block doors from closing off an area for cleaning, minor injuries on the chimps (from a small fight) need special attention, staff or volunteers get sick, and Jamie decides to cap it all off by staying out late on Young’s Hill. Did I mention it’s been really hot and a haze of wildfire smoke from Canada is in the air? This is the kind of week we’ve been having at the sanctuary. I debated on whether or not this was maybe a bit too much information, but I think it’s incredibly important to talk about BOTH fun things like Foxie’s birthday party, AND the less charming things that happen around here. Being a caregiver isn’t comprised of 50% games with Burrito and 50% troll tosses with Foxie after all (although that does sound pretty great).

The upside? We LOVE what we do. Through all the fog of craziness in some days, emerge seven pretty special chimpanzees that deserve all that hard work and love, and if that means working a bit late, having plans suddenly change, or being uncomfortably sweaty and smelly for a few hours, it’s all worth it.


More birthday fun!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

A few photos from yesterday’s party!

The handcrafted watermelon bowls in honor of Foxie!




Happy Birthday, Foxie!!

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Woohoo!! It’s Foxie’s birthday and a very special day of sanctuary was sponsored in her honor by her (and our) wonderful friend, Tracy Headley! Foxie is 41 and full of sass and spitfire this morning! I think it’s more like 41 going on 14. She started her birthday morning off with a wild game of chase with Annie and Missy, swinging on a firehose while play-kicking at her friends and laughing, and then hanging upside down from the greenhouse ceiling while kicking her feet every which way possible.

Birthday packages arrived this morning, an exciting brunch forage is being prepped, and all the trolls and Dora dolls are lining up for the celebration!

Tracy, thank you so much for helping us make this an extra special day for Foxie! We are so lucky to have you as part of our chimp family. Foxie is such a special soul bringing joy, comfort, love and shenanigans to the lives of us all.

Foxie, if there were a picture of my heart I am pretty sure it would look like you. We all could not possibly love you more. We hope this day full of excitement, smoothies, fruit, crazy chimp shenanigans, more trolls and Doras than you could possibly carry, hug, bite and do pirouettes on, friends, family and love, so much love, is the best birthday yet. Until the next and the next and the next…

Happy Birthday, Foxie!!

Moments of comfort

Monday, August 7th, 2017

After experiencing over 30 years of deprivation, it never ceases to amaze me (or make my heart burst) to see the chimpanzees so fully embrace a life of comfort in their own unique ways. It physically hurts my heart to think of all they went without for so long and makes each moment of joy and comfort for them all the more meaningful.

The chimps recently received some new SUPER fluffy fleece blankets and they adore them. They look as though they are floating on clouds sitting in their nests, the blankets sometimes as high as their chests. We found two super voluptuous nests this morning while cleaning the playroom. Despite Jamie’s aversion to snakes, she really loves to incorporate the stuffed toy snakes into her nests:

Jamie (we assume) decided to use a chopstick to remove a washer from somewhere yet to be discovered. She is far too smart for our own good:

This beauty was spread out over the catwalk:

Beautiful Annie lounging:

Jody in particular loved the new blankets (naturally) and frequently rubbed her head and face against them:

Jody’s sweet feet in a cloud of fluff as she napped this morning:

Seeing the chimps surrounding themselves in comfort will never grow old.

Happy Anniversary, Susana!

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Susana Pataro! Susana shared this lovely message about her gift:

“I visited CSNW last year on the occasion of the NAPSA Workshop that took place in Tacoma. The last day was devoted to meet the chimps and the facilities. To be honest I didn’t have any idea of the place. Needless to say that when I discovered this old lovely farm, the story of the place, Ellie, the very special residents, the care they receive from such a compassionate team, I fell in love. I became a follower of your blog and I share the stories and pictures almost every day creating awareness among my friends on the suffering of chimps in biomedical research. So, on the occasion of my anniversary I decided to share the celebration in joy and love with all of you.”

Susana, thank you so much for celebrating not only your life, but the lives of the chimps (and Ellie! 🙂 ) in such a compassionate way. We so appreciate the work you do to make a difference in the lives of chimpanzees and share their stories with others. All of us at CSNW are wishing you the happiest of celebrations and hope your day is filled with all that brings you the love, comfort, joy and sanctuary you help provide the chimps.

You share a birthday month with these two ladies so you’re bound to have a special day:

Foxie turns 41 tomorrow!

Missy turns 42 on August 23rd!

Missy running

We don’t know for sure when Ellie’s birthday month is, but she’s definitely special!

Jamie and Ellie bottom of Young's Hill

Building Patience one Tomato at a Time

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

If you did not already know this about Missy, she LOVES tomatoes. Currently in our garden we have tomatoes and cherry tomatoes growing. The garden is a type of enrichment for the chimps. It is fun to have the excitement build while they wait for some of their favorite foods to grow! This morning Jamie and Missy reminded Caregiver Katelyn and I that they were out there! Missy stuck around a little longer to see if they were ripe yet. Unfortunately, they are not ready to be consumed. But… I did fine tomatoes in the fridge, which everyone got to enjoy for lunch!

Missy looking out into the garden:


Missy staring back, waiting for us to find the ripened ones:

Missy continuing to look for tomatoes: