Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

First Impressions: Burrito

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

This afternoon I went in to shoot some photos of Burrito in the greenhouse. Instead of relaxing on a platform while I snapped a few photos, he immediately sauntered up to the caging (with a blue cup in his mouth) and initiated a game of tug with a plastic tube.

This presented a challenge in photography as it can be difficult to decently capture up-close images of a wily chimpanzee. I did my best though. My first impression of Burrito? Charming!

On a side note, this is a photo of Jody wearing a rainbow sock. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Missy!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

It’s hard to believe that youthful, exuberant, energizer-bunny Missy is turning 40 today. She might be in the running for World’s Most Sprightly 40 Year Old Chimpanzee. Missy makes us smile everyday with her enthusiasm for life, her legs that never stop running, and her complete devotion to her chimp family. Today, we celebrate her.

Volunteer caregiver Patti put together an 80s-themed party for Missy’s big day. Naturally this included leg warmers, socks, and sweatbands in neon colors (including a few for caregivers to wear), and homemade Rubik’s Cube pinatas. We firmly believe a party is not a party without streamers, so we decked out the greenhouse with those too. Fruit smoothie “shots” in Dixie cups, apples, plums, tomatoes (Missy’s favorite), and primate chow rounded out the celebration.
























For Missy, no day is complete without some serious adventure, so we scattered a lunch forage on Young’s Hill. And adventure she did:






To everyone who contributed to Missy’s party, sponsored today, or just sent happy thoughts to the birthday girl, thank you!

Happy Birthday, Martha!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

This day of sanctuary and birthday celebrations was also sponsored by Sandra Clardy in honor of Martha Faulkner’s birthday! Martha is such a wonderful friend to the chimpanzees and she does so much to ensure they have the lives they deserve. And we couldn’t be happier that she has chosen to celebrate her special day here with the chimpanzees by attending our summer visit program today!

Sandra, thank you for choosing to honor Martha by making a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives with such a thoughtful and compassionate gift.

And Martha, thank you so much for all that you do for the chimpanzees! From all of the primates here at CSNW, we wish you the happiest of days full of all that brings you love and joy. Happy Birthday!!

And special birthday pant-hoots from your pals, Burrito and Jody:

Burrito and Jody with bamboo

Birthday preparations for Missy’s 40th party are underway this minute so be sure to check back later today to see the festivities. We are so grateful for all that we have to celebrate today! Thanks to all of you for making such days possible!

Thank you, Christine!

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Christine Ponticelli! Christine, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees and giving them a special day as they celebrate life as they choose. We hope your day is full of all that sanctuary means to you and is one that is full of the love and joy you help ensure for these amazing chimpanzees.

Sanctuary probably means more to the chimpanzees than we could ever fully imagine. But here are three of your friends embracing their lives:

Jamie, finally gets to call the shots on how, and with whom, she spends her time:

Jamie in the tall grass

Jody gets to explore and forage for her own wild snacks to bring back and enjoy in the comfort of her nest:


And Negra gets to discover a new definition for solitude, surrounded by loved ones in a safe and comfortable home to heal at her own pace:


Nap time failures

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

When I was in kindergarten I “failed” nap time. After lunch we would all be instructed to get our personal mats out of our cupboards and lie down for a little quiet time. I clearly remember laying down my little rug and scootching up next to my friend at which point we would proceed to whisper and giggle, despite cues from our teacher asking us to close our eyes and rest. But of course, that’s what 5 year olds do, right?

Between a hot summer afternoon and full bellies from lunch, the chimp house has been still and quiet, all of us lulled by the warm breeze. Everyone grabbed some blankets after lunch and tucked away in a corner to nest and take a nap.

Here’s Burrito:


Well, almost everyone lied down to nap…Foxie and I were lying down next to each other whispering and giggling. I guess some things never change.




Happy Birthday, Arlene!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

If you missed it earlier in the week, the chimpanzees received the beautiful gift of a week of sanctuary, sponsored by Michael for Arlene in celebration of her birthday! Arlene, as today is your actual birthday, we want to send lots of birthday pant hoots, squeaks, and grunts your way. We hope your day is filled with all that you most love and if you need any ideas of how to spend your time, here are some suggestions from the chimpanzees:

Enjoy a peaceful walk, like Annie:

Annie walking in the tall grass

Burrito might suggest doing anything as long as it involves food:

Burrito eating breakfast night bag

Enjoying the company of good friends like Foxie (right), Jamie (left), Doras and trolls:


Jamie likes to spend quality time admiring her beautiful boots:


A relaxing day of yoga, Jody-style:

Jody doing "yoga"

Missy might choose anything involving an adventure:


And Negra…well, it’s pretty safe to say Negra thinks every day should be celebrated with relaxing in a cozy nest in a sunny spot:


Arlene, however you choose to spend your special day, we hope it’s filled with the hope, love, home and sanctuary that you and Michael so graciously help ensure for the chimpanzees. Happy Birthday!!

Making Up

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Burrito depends on Foxie quite a bit. Despite the fact that Foxie’s about half his size, she’s his friend, his security blanket, and his most loyal protector. She’s always there when he needs a hug.

But everyone behaves a little unkindly to their friends from time to time. Yesterday, during a dominance display, Burrito thumped Foxie on the back as he charged past her. This isn’t unusual behavior for Burrito, or for any chimpanzee in the midst of a display. Still, it’s probably not fun to be the recipient of the thumping, especially when it comes from your good friend.

Luckily, chimps are experts at reconciliation. A little grooming is all it usually takes to make amends.

This week is for Arlene!

Monday, August 17th, 2015

This may be a first for our wonderful chimpanzee friends! Michael has sponsored a week of sanctuary for the chimpanzees in honor of Arlene for her birthday! Arlene’s birthday is officially August 19th and the birthday week celebration begins today. We are so touched and I cannot imagine a more wonderful gift to give, or receive, than knowing that in celebration of a life, a difference has been made in the lives of so many more.

Michael, thank you so much for such a compassionate and generous gift the chimpanzees as you honor and celebrate Arlene!

Arlene, you have been a wonderful friend to the chimpanzees and we are honored that you are sharing your special week with them. Heartfelt thanks to both of you for your support of these seven amazing people. All of us here at CSNW wish you the happiest of days ahead and we look forward to a week of celebration with you! Happy Birthday Week!!

Foxie and friends:


Hot summer nights

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Hot summer days have led to beautiful sunset strolls with Jamie this week. It was hot enough last night that most of the chimps stayed up later than usual, sprawled out, waiting for the much anticipated cool evening breeze to come down from the mountains once the sun set.





Foxie and Dora:


The sunsets have been brilliant this week and despite being the result of smoke from all the raging wildfires in the state (none of which are a threat to the sanctuary), it’s hard not to appreciate their fiery beauty.


Two of our sweet neighbors were also out for an evening stroll:



We don’t blame Jamie for waiting for the cooler evenings to enjoy walking. It’s a peaceful way to end the long, sweltering days for the humans as well. A welcome time to relax and sink into the soothing night sounds that accompany dusk.

Earlier this week as one of the blazing sunsets turned to embers and the night shadows fell over the hill, Jamie continued walking. Sometimes the chimps appear to be looking at the sky with the same awe that we do.



On the last walk that evening, which was close to 9:00 PM, she seemed to become a bit more apprehensive as the shadows covered the hill and though she couldn’t be enticed to squeeze in one more walk before dark (even with Keri and I both wearing cowboy boots) she decided it was still nice enough to sit in the safety of the raceway to Young’s Hill and take in the view of the valley below as the breeze ruffled her hair.

Eventually, the motion sensor lights came on outside the greenhouse, but still she was content to sit in the doorway as we waited with her. But that’s part of the magic of summer evenings, the cool breeze, the stillness of the night, and relaxing in the company of good friends.


First Impressions: Jody

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Last week I had every intention of doing a blog about Jody, but Jamie stole the show. Jody can be a tough chimpanzee to get to know. She will put up boundaries between her caregivers (especially new ones) that are easy to respect. She has the admiration of her chimpanzee family and is high ranking (although not as high as Jamie). Jody is a lover of large nests and will sometimes leave them in the doorways of the enclosures making it a challenge to close off. If you ask her nicely, she may oblige and move her blankets. On other days, she may stay posted in an area so there is no chance to clean it. Jody is also an amazing forager. She will go out on Young’s Hill and fill her mouth and hands so full of produce that her wrists bend into a shovel shape and her impressive lips are extended to capacity. She finds delicious things to eat on the hill, even when we haven’t specifically put out a forage. Whether it be bamboo branches, weeds, or grass, she will find it and enjoy it.

Today I took some photos of Jody as she lounged in the playroom. She had the beginnings of a nest built and a bamboo shoot ready to be snacked on. She also had a green-haired troll in her pelvic (hip) pocket.

Burrito was on standby as I photographed Jody. Keeping a watchful eye on her and making sure I didn’t step out of line.

Beautiful, tough, and respected, this is Jody chimpanzee.