Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Sun and Sanctuary

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Sunshine, chimpanzees, and melting pathways. What could be better?


Foxie (and Dora):


Who is that?!

Monday, February 20th, 2017

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you’ve probably seen us frequently writing about various aspects of safety and security. Things like the fact that we never enter an area that the chimpanzees have access to, the importance of clearly identifying each chimpanzee and which areas they do have access to all, as part of our safety checks before we enter an area we need to clean. (Diana mentioned chimp ID in a recent blog post as part of the training our Level II and III volunteers and interns go through.)

Of course the chimps don’t give two hoots (no pun intended) if we can identify them when we need to or not. We often have to twist and turn and climb and crawl and contort into all manner of positions in an attempt to positively identify each person. Many times all we might be able to see is an ear, a finger – or maybe a bum and some toes – so it can be a challenge to gain a better view.

For example, any ideas who this is?

As a disclaimer and if you’re new to the blog you are going to see the chimps behind caging in some of the following photos and it may appear they are limited to a small cage. The chimps tend to seek out small, cozy corners to nest in (don’t most of us?) and are often up against the caging so we can’t always get close enough to get a photo or to get one safely. And the reality is, the chimpanzees are captive beings, no matter how much space and light we provide through the designs of their enclosure, it is just that, an enclosure. While none of us like to see the chimps behind caging, it’s a reality for their safety as well as ours. And keep in mind they have 1800 square feet of open enclosure with stairs, a catwalk, bridges, ledges, fire hoses, a green house with tiered platforms and their beloved 2-acre outdoor enclosure, Young’s Hill.

We never identify a chimpanzee based on what items they may or may not have with them, but they definitely give us some clues. Any ideas who the following people are?:

The chimp house was SO quiet and peaceful and the only sound in the greenhouse was the rain falling on the roof. It’s not super common to have everyone sound asleep at the same time so I tried not to disturb anyone with my photo taking. But as quiet as I tried to be, nothing, and I mean nothing, gets by chimpanzees so it wasn’t long before a couple people began waking up to see what I was doing (I would tell you who is in the next three photos, but I don’t want to give away the above photos!):

Foxie was sound asleep on the floor of the front rooms, but despite my tactic of lying on my belly and crawling to sneak up to her, well, you see how that went.

Valentine’s Day 2017!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

The chimpanzees celebrated the day of love with a series of casual forages featuring some of their favorite foods. Here are a just a few highlights from their breakfast forage:

Thanks to everyone who helped share the chimp love this year!

These boots aren’t just made for walking.

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Jamie and her beloved cowgirl boots during a morning nesting session:

Happy Birthday, Dr. Elliott Sumers!

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Anne Sumers sponsored this day of sanctuary in honor of her husband, Dr. Elliott Sumers, to celebrate his birthday! Anne shared this special message about today:

“Dr. Elliott Sumers is very fond of all the chimpanzees at the Sanctuary, and enjoys reading about the enrichment activities of Annie, Burrito, Jamie, Jody, and all the others as they enjoy the outdoors, playing with each other, and food treats. It makes Elliott very happy that the chimps have such a loving, good place for them to live, and that they have each other!”

Anne, thank you so much for your generous and compassionate gift for the chimpanzees and for wanting to share your husband’s special day with them.

We made a cake in Elliott’s honor yesterday for the chimpanzees. It’s probably not the kind of cake most humans would enjoy, but we’re betting the chimps like it!

elliott cake


Dr. Sumers, all of the primates here wish you a wild rumpus chimpanzee kind of celebration! Thank you for helping to fill the chimps’ lives with the joy, comfort, and family they are thriving in. Happiest of birthdays to you!


Jamie and Foxie:

Annie and Missy:

Annie Missy best friends

Negra play-biting Missy’s toes:

Jody in forage heaven:

Jody close-up forage queen

Burrito in a blanket!


Foxie and Jamie:


In memory of Susan von Beck Turner

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Each year on this date a day of sanctuary is sponsored by Jennifer and James Douglas, in memory of their dear friend, Susan von Beck Turner, on her birthday. Susan is held in the hearts of those who loved her and cherished for the difference she made in the lives of so many humans and dogs. We are so happy to celebrate Susan’s life here at the sanctuary each year and honored to be part of witnessing the difference she continues to make. What a beautiful legacy.

Jennifer and James, thank you so much for choosing to remember Susan by including the chimpanzees in all the lives she’s made, and continues to make, better. We so appreciate all you do to ensure such a kind and loving spirit remains in the world. Our thoughts are with you and Susan’s family and friends today and we wish you all a day of comfort, joy and love as you celebrate her life.

Beloved Missy:

Jamie above, Missy below:

Annie (left) and Missy (right):

Missy standing on bar


Remembering a friend

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Nicki Walters in memory of her husband, Bill Walters. Nicki and Bill have been such good friends to the chimpanzees and we’re honored to celebrate Bill and the difference he made in life. In fact, we are privileged to celebrate the difference his life made here at the sanctuary every day. Nicki shared this special message about Bill:

“We lost Bill last year in July but not before he got to see in person the amazing Twister & the beloved Chimps playing on it. Missy was first up! It all started by sponsoring a day in honor of his Birthday, that ended up spreading to last more days. He loved animals and life and is very missed but knowing a tribute that benefits the magnificent 7 named after him with his nickname truly provides peace and happiness to all who loved him. This is a tradition that will continue on. He loved what all of you do, thank you for helping to give him so many bright spots on the dark days with your incredible posts and to all who made the Twister possible.”

Nicki, thank you so much for choosing to honor and celebrate Bill’s memory with the chimpanzees. All of us here at CSNW hold you and your loved ones in our thoughts and hearts.

I believe most of us have the desire to somehow say we were here, to mark our time and to know that our life made a difference – that we left the world a better place for having been here. The possibilities are as far-reaching and unique as each one of us. And I think all of us will leave having made differences we will never be aware of. But for seven chimpanzee people who live on a hillside outside a small town in eastern Washington, Bill and his loved ones made a difference which will continue to ripple throughout all their days forward.

The chimps’  first inspection of the Twister:

Missy, first to the top!

Bill and Nicki watch the unveiling:

Annie and Missy playing chase underneath:

Jamie keeping watch over her home from under her beloved crow’s nest:

Foxie and Dora on an adventure:

Burrito’s courage:


Missy (top) and Annie (below):

Annie and Missy top of Twister

The Twister quickly became an important part of Jamie’s daily routine territory checks. Weather permitting, it’s the first place she heads each morning and the place she ends her day…or in many cases, her evening:

Jamie on Twister dusk

Tiny Big

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Foxie is a tiny chimpanzee woman. But her size is no indication of the amount of joy, courage, fierceness, adventure, spirit and joy she walks, flips and spins through life with. Nor is it any indication of the amount of love this one heart holds for her.

Chimpanzee shenanigans

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Today the chimps started out arguing and fighting and ripping and hooting, a little more than usual. But whatever family business they had to work out seems to have been resolved and they’ve spent the afternoon lounging about and engaging in a variety of goofy and endearing shenanigans.

Jamie has a routine of building a nest in one of the front rooms and napping/supervising the humans as we clean the playroom. Even while at rest, she usually has a project or a plan in progress…

and today she chose this:

Jamie is very creative and often likes to repurpose her enrichment:

(Happy Jamie flailing about):

Viola! From sock to ankle bandana:

Later in the afternoon, Foxie joined Jamie nesting in the playroom. Here is a good example of different nesting styles – Foxie doesn’t like to use blankets, whereas Jamie gets pretty creative:

With these two, it isn’t long before wrestling ensues:

And here it is folks, the ever-elusive Jamie play face!!:

Foxie is the one person who can really get Jamie to cut loose. But Jamie takes everything pretty seriously (she is the boss after all) so even when she is in full play mode, we don’t often catch a play face. So we need that in a closeup:

Foxie laughing as Jamie play bites her hand:

And last, but certainly not least, I leave you with this guy:



Are you a Negra or a Jody?

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Winter evokes a variety of emotions, thoughts and interests in each of us. Some of us love nothing more than bundling up in a cozy nest wishing to hibernate until spring, and some of us love the adventure that cold weather and snow bring. I definitely fall somewhere in the middle.

I think it’s safe to guess where Negra falls:

And while Jody is definitely a lover of a extravagant nest and a leisurely day, she always seems to enjoy the adventures each season brings: