Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

The rain has arrived

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The first rains of autumn have finally arrived at the sanctuary and the chimpanzees are less than thrilled. Everyone is spending the rainy day in their own way. Annie and Missy are doing a lot of lounging and napping. Negra is bundled away in her nest with the blanket over her head, fast asleep. Jody is enjoying lounging by the window with occasional grooming sessions with her chimp friends. Foxie and I (and Dora the Explorer) just had a raucous game of chase through the chimp house which ended in her hanging upside down and both of us laughing hysterically. Even Jamie took a long nap today but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still making her rounds of Young’s Hill in between heavier showers.

And then there’s Burrito. He has spent most of the day gazing out all of the windows, seemingly waiting for the sun to reappear. First he checked outside the greenhouse:


Then he distracted himself with a brief game of chase:


But had to stop to see if it was still raining:


Then we went inside to see if it was raining out the chimp house windows:



Still raining:


Jamie After Hours

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Jamie has been making the staff earn their keep this summer and fall. After the other chimpanzees have made their nests and settled down for the night, and just when it’s normally time for the caregivers to go home, Jamie decides she would like some more time outside. She takes walk after walk after walk around Young’s Hill, always requesting the company of a human friend. While her morning and afternoon perimeter walks are often all business, these evening walks are more leisurely. Jamie meanders and explores and stops to take in the view.

Despite the extra long days, we’re all happy to oblige. It’s nice to see Jamie making up for lost time.





Small Pleasures

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

I think one of the pleasures of sanctuary that brings Jody the most joy is being able to harvest her own plants from Young’s Hill.

















Picture of contentment

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

It’s been a pretty quiet day in the chimp house today. We are having some incredibly beautiful autumn days and everyone seems to be enjoying them in their own way. Jamie has, of course, been busy walking Young’s Hill with all her available caregivers and almost everyone else has joined her for a lap or two, or to collect some bamboo for munching and nesting. But for the most part, there is a lot of resting, relaxing, and napping going on.

Earlier this afternoon I found beautiful Annie, dozing contentedly on her own from the top platform of the greenhouse as she gazed out at Young’s Hill (in between blowing an occasional raspberry at me):





Best of today

Monday, October 6th, 2014

There were so many good photos of each of the chimpanzees that I had to share them all on today’s blog. It’s really hard to pick a favorite.

Annie’s beauty is beyond words.



Missy actually sat still long enough for us to get a few photos.


Foxie enjoyed her pears at breakfast. Perhaps they taste better by the mouthful.


Burrito spent part of the afternoon playing with his wooden blocks and his own arm.


Jamie took a moment to pose for the camera before going for a walk on Young’s Hill.

Jody took some time to groom herself and ponder her surroundings.



Negra in her favorite nesting spot on the catwalk.


Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by the chimpanzees’ (and the humans’!) good friend, Adrienne Armstrong! Adrienne, her family, and friends have done so much to help the chimpanzees and make their lives better. Her kindness and compassion are evident in all she does and how she chooses to live her life.

Adrienne, we are so touched that you chose to spend your own special day by making the chimps’ day special as well. Thank you! All of us here at CSNW hope you have the best of days, and that all the good you offer others comes back to you tenfold! Happy Birthday (with lots of food grunts and pant hoots)!!

Ever the charmer, Burrito:


Under Construction

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

The chimpanzees have received a couple of donated workbenches over the last year or so, and they’ve been absolute hits. Supporter Wanda Trotta recently sent us another one, and we put it in the playroom after cleaning today.

Thank you, Wanda!

Watching the sunset

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Jamie has been really enjoying the slightly cooler fall evenings lately and has stayed out late pretty much every day this week! Staff (especially Katelyn and Elizabeth!) have been walking around the hill during these late evenings so much! Jamie normally heads in as the sun goes down, which this time of year is a quarter til 7 o’clock. However on Thursday night, she stayed out long past the sun went down and didn’t come inside until 7:30! Those walks were lit by just the moonlight. Thursday evening Katelyn got this photo from her phone which captured the moon shining down on Jamie.

Last night Jamie came in before it got really dark, but not before she contently watched the sun go down, while holding her current favorite boots.






Once the sun went behind the hills, she climbed down the platform and carried her boots in with her for the night.



But then she had to steal just one last glance at the sunset.


Missy in the portrait studio!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

I’ve been trying for awhile to collect images of all the chimps in our “portrait studio” — it’s a spot on a bench in the front rooms right next to the window, which allows for the best lighting and background for close-ups of the chimps.

When the chimps first arrived, they spent a couple days in the front rooms before shifting into the playroom (to ease the transition into a big, expansive room—probably scary after years inside tiny cages) and so many of our photos of the chimps when they first arrived are on that bench. For some of them that was the first time in decades they’d had a chance to look out a window.

Anyway, a few months ago I complied some of the more recent portrait studio photos and compared them to the photos of the chimps from those first few days in sanctuary. The changes are so extraordinary! Missy, however, was absent from that post because we didn’t have a recent photo of her in that spot. She is always on the move and doesn’t sit on the bench long enough for us to grab the camera and get a good close-up. The other day, finally, Katelyn was able to snap a couple of quick photos of her before she jumped off. So, without further ado, I present you with Missy’s before-and-after comparison:

Missy, a couple days after the chimps’ arrival:
web missy day 3 nest bare belly Picture 037

Missy, over six years later:




Foxie flips

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Most people look forward to vacation. But as a caregiver I think I speak for most of us when I say vacation is a bit of a double edged sword. No matter how wonderful a holiday away can be, part of my heart is always with the chimpanzees, missing them and wondering what’s happening. And just as with any friend or loved one, it’s especially wonderful to greet them upon return.

When chimpanzees greet one another after a separation, their greetings can be strikingly similar to our own in posture, gesture, vocalization, and seemingly emotion. The chimpanzees understand much, if not all of what we say, but here at CSNW we use the chimps’ gestures and vocalizations with them as much as possible. And as part of their society and being good subordinate apes, we always try to greet the boss lady, Jamie, first. So on my first day back I walked into the chimp area to find Jamie and was surprised when she charged toward me, with her hair pilo-erect (standing on end). From her behavior (and well, Jamie being Jamie) I fully expected that she was going to skip the pleasantries and express her general displeasure about something with me and braced myself. But much to my surprise she stuck her lips out for a kiss!

And as if that wasn’t enough to make my day, Foxie was the next person to spot me and caregiver, Keri, was able to capture her greeting me on video. But while chimpanzee greetings are much like our own, this greeting bears no resemblance to anything I could do. It’s all Foxie. Which is, of course, why she is so endearing. And one of the best things about vacation. Coming home.