Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee sanctuary’

Happy Birthday, Vicki!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Vicki Brabandt! Today also happens to be Vicki’s birthday and she has generously chosen to celebrate her special day by enriching the lives of the chimpanzees! Vicki has a passion for all great apes and wants to express her gratitude to everyone providing care for them. We are always amazed at the wonderful people the chimpanzees bring into our lives and are thrilled the chimps are supported by so many with such care and compassion.

Vicki, thank you so much for sharing your day with the chimpanzees! From all of the primates here at CSNW we wish you the happiest of birthdays!

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We have another birthday girl this week! On Halloween Jamie (or as we like to refer to it, “Jamie-ween”) turns 37! It’s one of the biggest parties of the year here at the sanctuary so be sure to check back for the festivities.

Happy chickens, food, and thanks!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

We have been very fortunate lately to receive some awesome food donations—Darwin pet food company has donated cases and cases of fresh produce the last few months which has certainly reduced our food bill every month! We are so appreciative, and so are the chimpanzees. Just check out one of the hauls:

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And here’s some of the celery they donated being enjoyed by Annie and Negra:
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And Missy snacking on a beet:
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Part of our food philosophy is that the chimps have a primarily plant-based diet, which is why we’re so thankful for the Darwin’s donations! Recently we thought about seeing if the chimps like eggs, which would be a great source of protein for them in addition to the nuts they already eat and protein powder in their morning smoothie. It just so happens that I’m the proud caretaker of a few happy chickens who roam around my house (which is seated on a large family farm just outside Ellensburg).

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I’ve always been thrilled to share the ladies’ eggs with friends and family, giving them the opportunity to have eggs from free-roaming chickens. So I decided to bring in some hard-boiled eggs for the chimps to see if they would like them! It turns out that they were no stranger to having eggs before. Though we expected that they would be weary of eating such a strange item, and it might take a few tastes to decide if they liked them or not, we were surprised to see their reaction—they definitely know what eggs are and they definitely like them. Negra was absolutely beside herself when she saw me walking out with the eggs, food squeaking with delight. The other chimpanzees quickly came over to get the exciting snack.

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Foxie, however, is not so sure about eggs. She’s always been more hesitant to try new things (even if she ends up loving those things eventually). The first time we served the eggs, Foxie sniffed it and tossed it to the ground. She then went around and watched everyone eating their egg to see what was so exciting about it. The second time we served them, I peeled one for Foxie (while everyone else was happy to receive their with the shell and peel them on their own) and she took a quick bite before dropping the other half on the ground. Annie was very pleased to pick up Foxie’s leftovers, and Foxie very intensely food peered while Annie ate her eggs. This very uncomfortable looking behavior is a common act in chimpanzee culture, and Foxie especially likes to food-peer. Perhaps after watching the other chimps happily eat their eggs twice now, the third time will be the charm for Foxie!

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Knowledge and Responsibility

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I’m often told how great it must be to have a job caring for chimpanzees and I have to agree. There are so many highlights of working at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Of course, there are the chimpanzees, each with their own unique and inspiring qualities. And there are the incredibly compassionate and dedicated staff members, volunteers and donors that work on behalf of the Cle Elum Seven. Add in a beautiful setting and its the perfect job.

The truth is, I love my job, but I really wish it didn’t exist. The reality is there has to be chimpanzees in captivity for me to be a chimpanzee caretaker. But, chimpanzees do not belong in captivity. Period.

A past teacher of mine used to say “With knowledge comes responsibility”. I didn’t realize just how much those four words would mean until I started learning more about the fate of chimpanzees in the entertainment and biomedical industries and those kept as pets. Once I learned the fates of those chimpanzees, I stopped buying cards with pictures of chimpanzees “smiling” and I stopped watching movies with chimpanzees in them. But, I wanted to do more; I felt I had a responsibility to do more.

So, I am trying to do that, by helping to make captivity the best that it can possibly be for the chimpanzees of CSNW. This means respecting them as individuals, giving them choices, providing daily enrichment, sharing their stories and advocating for them and all apes.

These are the seven chimpanzees that I work for.

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Enjoying the Sunshine and the Tea Party

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

The chimpanzees were excited to make the most of the sunshine this morning by spending time on Young’s Hill. Jody was the first to venture outside, followed by Burrito, Jamie, Foxie, Missy and then Annie. Negra was close; she made it to the raceway that leads out to the hill, then sat down and looked outside.

Missy and Annie shared a few quiet minutes sitting together on top of the shaky bridge.

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As soon as Missy spotted Jamie, she jumped down from the bridge and ran after her. And then Jamie took turns running after Missy.

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And then Foxie joined Annie on the shaky bridge. (Annie is facing away from the camera)

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In the mean time, Negra sat quietly in the Greenhouse, near the raceway, alternating between looking outside and inspecting her hand.

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Jody gathered some bamboo before heading back to the greenhouse to relax and groom herself.

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Meanwhile, volunteers Erin and Jake set up a tea party for the chimpanzees in the Playroom for today’s “Tea Party” theme. Jamie was all about it. After drinking the tea, she inspected the inside of each cup; turning it upside down, sticking her fingers in the cup and then licking them. She gives meaning to the saying “Good to the last drop”

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And Burrito spent the better part of the rainy afternoon grooming his good friend Foxie.

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An afternoon on the hill

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Today after lunch I stepped outside to see what the chimpanzees were up to. I found Annie all alone on Young’s Hill, having a quiet moment.

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Considering Annie is the lowest chimp in the hierarchy, she’s looking awfully confident these days.

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A while later, boss Jamie (right) came outside and Annie offered her a submissive greeting.

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Eventually Missy came out, and she and Jamie started up the hill for a perimeter walk. But just when they were getting started, a brief scuffle broke out in the greenhouse and Jamie ran inside to sort things out.

After that bit of drama, the boss was ready for a nap.

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The relentless hawk

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The hawk saga has continued this week and the chimps are still on high alert. Last week, J.B. posted about a hawk that caused the chimps to be somewhat apprehensive.

Here’s a couple shots of the hawk (we’re calling him Hank).

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Since Hank has been hanging out this whole week, the chimps are more used to his presence, but they are still very territorial. Today, Missy was still a little apprehensive and took cover inside the tunnel, and then ran back toward the safety of the chimp house. But Foxie, Jody, and Jamie were on patrol letting Hank know who’s in charge.

Missy emerging from the tunnel:
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Foxie, Jody, and Jamie on alert:
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And then on patrol to secure the rest of the territory:
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Jamie took one last look back to make sure Hank learned his lesson:
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It’s really great getting to see the chimps exhibit such a naturalistic behavior—patrolling the fence line and defending their home.

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More ways to help the chimps!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

One of my favorite things about our gala auction (and online auction, too!) is that people who bid on items not only give generously to support the chimps, but they get a nice tangible item too. Win-win! There are many different ways to help support the chimps, from sponsoring a day of sanctuary to becoming a pal to one of the Cle Elum Seven, to participating in our fundraising events, and even just in your everyday shopping!

Awhile back we posted about how Amazon’s program AmazonSmile will donate a portion of sales from everyday things you shop for on Amazon to the sanctuary (read more on how to set that up here). We also have a program set up through Fred Meyer, a northwest one-stop-shop store, and a way to help the sanctuary when buying or selling on eBay through eBay Giving Works. You also can apply for a credit card that helps out the chimps! All win-win deals. Check all those options out on this page.

One new thing we added to that page was our connection with Cars 4 Causes, an organization which takes vehicles, gets them prepped for sale, auctions them off and then gives a chunk of the proceeds to the sanctuary! My family actually recently took advantage of this opportunity and donated our boat that I remember taking camping trips in as a child. It went up for auction and did really well—but unfortunately, the high bidder backed out last minute for financial reasons and so the boat is back up for auction. Seattle-area friends, please spread the word about this auction! And if you or anyone you know is thinking about getting rid of a vehicle, consider donating it to Cars 4 Causes to support CSNW.

Here’s some pictures of the chimps, as a reminder of who you are supporting with all these fun and unique ways to donate:

Annie
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Jamie
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Missy
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Foxie
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Rainy day

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Sometimes on a rainy day, all I want to do is cuddle up with a blanket or two and read a good book or even take a nap. That has not been the case for Jamie today. She has kept herself quite active with the help of volunteer caregiver Becca, despite the rain. She has already walked around Young’s Hill four times in between heavy rain periods. And when it did start raining harder, she took action right away and ran the rest of the way around the hill.

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When she was not walking around Young’s Hill, she was flipping through magazines and inspecting some of her boots. And she even allowed herself some down time to sit quietly.

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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:

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Then he distracted himself with a brief game of chase:

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

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

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Still raining:

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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.

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