Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Today is in honor of Carrie Miller!

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Sylvia Gandolfo in honor of Carrie Miller! Sylvia and Carrie are long-time friends of the chimpanzees and gift one another with the generous and compassionate support of the chimpanzees. The chimps have so many wonderful friends and we’re so grateful for the love and good they inspire in the world. Sylvia shared this message about today:

“Honoring Carrie to acknowledge her lifelong, passionate understanding of the importance of all living beings and the need to provide rescue and sanctuary for those who have been mistreated. Happy Anniversary!”

Sylvia, thank you so much for choosing to celebrate Carrie and your special day by including the chimps! We greatly appreciate how you both hold the chimps in your hearts and include them in your lives.

Carrie, we’re so happy to celebrate in your honor today! Thank you for all you do to make the world a kind and loving place and for us all. We hope you have a wonderful day of celebration!!

Your pal, Burrito, as his usual adorable self:


Sylvia’s pal, sweet Annie:


This one never gets old: Annie and Burrito hugging on the chimps’ first day on Young’s Hill (Negra foreground):

web2 Burrito Annie hug Negra foreground youngs hill release day first time yh DSC_0740

The things we do.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

We are supposed to have a big winter storm headed our way tomorrow, but today has been dry and sooooooo cold, remaining well below freezing all day. So the chimps have been hunkered down in the toasty chimp house for the most part. They are handling it like troopers, but it can be extra challenging to try to pre-empt the inevitable boredom that comes with being stuck inside all day. So it’s in our mind throughout the day to come up with new, interesting, and even silly things.

One way to break up any tedium is for the humans to act as enrichment and attempt to entertain the chimps. So volunteer caregiver, Holly, and I took turns wearing a vibrant purple wig she brought in. Sometimes we get mixed reactions. Jamie will often look us up and down and just stare at us as if to express how embarrassed she is for us given our foolish behavior. Foxie will sometimes spit at us. And sometimes they will completely ignore us. But the wig was a hit with all today and had Foxie hanging upside down laughing and kicking the ceiling with her feet! Burrito was full of kisses for us and Missy thought it was pretty hilarious. Even the boss gave several head-nods of approval. So naturally, I had to have ever-the-good-sport Holly don the wig for lunch service. It’s the little things…:

Holly serving Jamie as Annie and Jody wait patiently:


Jody, Annie and Jamie (and Holly, of course):


After lunch, Jamie decided freezing temps or not, we were going for a walk. Missy is a good right-hand gal to Jamie and reluctantly, braved the cold with her. Missy kept stopping to wait for Annie who gave it a go, but in the end stood huddled with her arms wrapped around herself and then hightailed it bipedally back to the warm chimp house:


So Jamie and Missy and I carried on:



By the time we reached the downhill back to the chimp house we all decided to pick up the pace:


When it’s below 20 at night we close off the greenhouse to help maintain heat in the chimp house overnight. And the chimps wouldn’t be out there when it’s this cold anyway. After a warm dinner of roasted acorn squash, mini-peppers and onions along with peanut butter and banana inside cups for evening enrichment, and extra blankets still warm from the dryer, everyone is settled inside for the night. Jamie just asked for her favorite boots to sleep with and I just turned off the chimps’ lights. Everyone is tucked into their nests safe, warm and cozy for the night. So goodnight from the chimp house!

Speaking Chimpanzee

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Chimpanzees may not speak a human language, but they have their own way of communicating.

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Really, I think I can speak for us all when I say we feel as though it’s Thanksgiving every day here at the sanctuary. We are thankful to our bones for you, all of whom make the sanctuary and the chimpanzees’ lives here possible. We are thankful for wide open spaces with unobstructed views seen through chimpanzee eyes, the sound of chimpanzee feet racing through grass and the sound of human feet running alongside them, chimpanzee play faces and laughter, chimpanzee food grunts and squeaks, freckles, tiny toes, Annie-bird noises, blanket nests the size of small mountains, upside down chimps, and happy and healthy chimps whose lives grow bigger every day both inside and out, and well, more things than we could possibly say.

We are grateful every single day for our chimpanzee family, one of which you are a part of, one of which wouldn’t exist without you. From our hearts, thank you for helping us care for Annie, Missy, Jody, Foxie, Burrito, Jamie and Negra. Seven very special people whose lives are now filled with hope, love, home and family. And who fill our hearts full to bursting with love for them.

And from Burrito’s heart, is that Field Roast ready yet??! And pumpkin pancakes and green beans and sparkling cider and…




Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Be sure to check in tomorrow for the chimps’ big celebration!


A chimp family stroll

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

We are being gifted with a stretch of incredibly spring-like weather. The mornings start out damp, foggy and cold, but by the afternoon it’s warm, bright and sunny. The humans decided we needed a walk around Young’s Hill as much as Jamie did so we all decided to join her. The sight of a group of their caregivers always gets the chimps excited and often all or most of them will join us. This also gets our resident wild elk friend excited and she decided to tag along as well (though I am pretty sure the chimps attempted to un-invite her). You know, just a chimp family stroll in our own wonderful world at the sanctuary (missing Keri and Elizabeth who are home recovering from colds, and Negra and Foxie who were nesting in the sun).

We all hold so much gratitude in our hearts for this most special and magical of places and all who make it possible. A sanctuary to so many, non-human and human alike.

Anna, Diana, Yuri, Ellie and JB:


Missy and Annie (L) and Ellie and JB waiting for the others to join us:


Missy, Burrito and Jody suggested Ellie walk elsewhere at which point she ran to catch up with the humans:


On a second lap around the hill, Jamie decided to check out the happenings in the neighborhood atop her beloved Twister:




From blue cement floors below, to blue skies above

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Just over eight years ago, the Cle Elum 7 were living in the windowless basement of the Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania. Their entire world consisted of four attached 6×6 cages.

Here’s a little perspective on just exactly what that meant for the chimpanzees:

Take a moment and imagine only being able to climb as high as that cage ceiling or walk as far as the beginning of one wall to the end of the other. It’s truly inconceivable.

A huge part of sanctuary means providing a new multidimensional expansive world for the chimpanzees to enjoy.

When Missy climbed to to the tallest structure on Young’s Hill this morning, she was around 20 feet in the air with an unimpeded view of a lush green valley and rolling mountains. The sun could warm her back and the breeze could tickle her skin. She had 2 acres of grassy hill to run and play on, with several comfortable indoor areas to nap and groom in.







What a difference 8 years can make.

Part joy. Part magic. All Foxie.

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Last week you may recall that I captured Foxie snuggled up napping on the heated floor with her dolls, Kate and Alana (Dora’s friends 🙂 ). I also promised there were A WHOLE LOT of photos of that scene to follow. So here goes…

When Foxie plays she often likes to lie on her back in a tiny chimpanzee ball repeatedly tucking her arms and legs into herself and then kicking and flailing them about as she snorts and laughs. On this day, after she woke up she rolled over and decided to engage her dolls in her play session (JB wrote a fantastic blog post on Friday about chimps and imaginary play). What ensued was part joy, part magic, and all Foxie:


























Today is for Chaela!

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Glen Rinzler in honor of Chaela Ferguson! Glen has been a supporter and friend of the chimpanzees since they arrived to their sanctuary home and we are so happy to celebrate Chaela with him today.

Glen, thank you so much for your continued friendship of the chimps and for all you do to ensure their lives are overflowing with love, respect, adventure, joy, and family. We’re so happy that you chose to include them as you honor Chaela today!

Chaela, we hope you have a beautiful day! May it be full of all that brings you joy, just as you’ve helped provide the chimpanzees!

Jamie and Foxie play wrestling over a troll. Those play faces!:






Happy Birthday, Linda!

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Monica Best in honor of her mother, Linda Miller, on her birthday! Monica is a such a good friend to the chimps and we’re so happy to celebrate her human family along with the chimp family she’s a part of.

Monica shared the following message about today: “Sponsoring in honor of my mom, Linda Miller, on her birthday. She is one of the people who helped instill a love and respect of all animals, which helped me become the animal advocate I am today. Thank you mom!! Happy Birthday.”

Monica, thank you so much for everything you do to make the chimpanzees’ lives enriching, joyful, comforting and magical. You have such a big, loving heart and make the lives of so many of our fellow animals better and we are so grateful to you for that.

Linda, all of us here at the sanctuary wish you the happiest of birthdays yet! We hope that your day involves all that you love doing and all those you love being with!

Negra and Jody:

web Negra Jody cute faces playroom IMG_1220

Negra enjoying her days:

Negra standing and looking




Foxie, Kate and Alana

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Foxie spent much of the afternoon looking particularly adorable as she snuggled up on the heated floor and dozed peacefully with her doll friends, Kate and Alana. Stay tuned next week to see what happened in the rest of the photos in this series (there are a lot and it’s worth the wait, I promise).