Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

The patient

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

When I arrived to the chimp house this morning I went in the chimp area to greet everyone and found our patient, Queen Negra, fast asleep:

Another pass through and I found her enjoying a magazine from the comfort of her nest as she tried to wake up:

…and tried to wake-up:

But it was too early by the Queen’s standards so she swaddled herself up like a Neggie burrito and headed back to sleep until breakfast:

Negra is doing well and in great spirits! She is continuing to heal more and more each day and it seems the doctor’s orders to take it easy and rest are right up her alley.

Happy Birthday, Doreen!!

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Today we are celebrating the birthday of a dear friend of the primates at CSNW, Doreen Hughes! This fabulous day of sanctuary and celebration was sponsored by her twin sister, Donna, (who is obviously celebrating her own birthday as well!). Donna shared this special message for Doreen:

“Happy Birthday Doreen, the Best Sister Ever! I know how happy you will be to know that your birthday gift has helped Foxie and her friends!!! Your love, devotion and support to all animals speaks for itself! I know what a great year 2017 will be for you, we are so hopeful to meet Foxie and her friends – ape and human – in 2017! Eye on the prize, Doreen! xo xo Donna”

Doreen and Donna, HaPpY BiRtHdAy to you both from all of the primates here at CSNW!! May your day be bursting with love, laughter, and all that makes your heart do Foxie-style backflips, pirouettes and spins! We could not be happier to celebrate with you. We’re so happy you are in the world!

Don, thank you so much for sponsoring this special day as a gift for the chimps and for all you both do to make the lives of so many others better.

From your pal, Foxie, a tribute to twins:

The Eyes Have It

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

I took some photos of Burrito this morning that caused me to admire his face and think about the chimpanzee facial features that I love.

burrito sitting

The top of my personal “awesome chimpanzee facial features” list is the brow ridge (also known as supraorbital torus, ridge, or arch).

Though much less pronounced in chimpanzees, humans have a supraorbital ridge too – our eyebrows normally sit near the bottom of our arches.

Each chimpanzee has a somewhat unique brow ridge – I wonder if you could identify a chimpanzee by a brow ridge “print” like a fingerprint.

I will never say that I have a favorite chimpanzee, but I will admit that I have a favorite brow ridge: Jody’s. I like how deeply arched it is with lots of wrinkles, giving it a decidedly heart-shaped appearance:

Jody eyes


Here’s a look at everyone else’s supraorbital tori:






Negra close-up



Foxie looking down


Jamie (that’s also her profile in the 2nd photo in this post):



Annie close-up



Burrito upside down


Tool Use

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Tool use was once thought to be a defining characteristic of the human species.

Grooming Noises

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Chimpanzees use distinct sounds to communicate during grooming. Grooming noises such as the lip smack, the teeth clack, and the Bronx cheer are made solely with the lips, tongue, and teeth and not the vocal tract.

Visiting Hours

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Health care workers know that emotional support from friends and family can play an important role in the healing process. So while Negra might be on restricted activity for a few days, she still gets regular visits from her family.

Then again, who needs family when you’ve got a constant stream of peanuts, peanut butter, cabbage, and pineapple coconut juice…

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

A day of sanctuary and celebration was sponsored by Eric in honor of Adrienne’s birthday with this sweet message: “Happy Birthday from Burrito and all his friends at the sanctuary!”

Eric, thank you so much for thinking of the chimps as you honor Adrienne on her special day! Your compassion and generosity make a lasting difference in their lives.

Adrienne, it’s great that you and Burrito share a birthday month, mere days apart. During parties (and most any ol’ day) it’s not uncommon to see Burrito running through the chimp house in a dominance display, hair standing on end and clapping his hands as he attempts to intimidate the girls, especially when there’s food that he’s excited to reach.  I’m not sure if you want to celebrate your special day this way (we don’t judge), but food squeaking in utter joy is also classic Burrito so you could just go with that. 🙂 However you choose to celebrate, we hope your day is full of all that you most love and enjoy! Happy Birthday!

Elizabeth's fav photo



Missy the Ghost

Friday, January 13th, 2017

They say there’s a ghost that haunts the playroom at CSNW…

By the way, if you’re wondering about Negra – she is feeling much better today and has regained her appetite and her energy. We’re going to keep her separated from the group for at least one more day to make sure she stays off her foot as much as possible. I’m sure they’re all looking forward to being reunited.

Negra’s surgery

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

If you read Diana’s blog post on Saturday, then you know that Negra recently sustained an injury to her toe that we’ve been closely monitoring. After careful consideration, we decided that we needed to intervene surgically to help speed the healing process and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Yesterday, our amazing volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Zamzow, along with Dan and Laura, two skilled and generous anesthesiologists, came out to conduct the minor operation.

Procedures like these actually begin the night before, when we isolate and withhold food from the chimpanzee being treated. In the morning, we shift all of the other chimpanzees into another area so that the patient can enjoy some peace and quiet during the anesthetic induction. Of course, these chimpanzees have been around the block a few times, so they know what’s going on. Sometimes they express concern and want to see what’s happening inside – especially the group’s den mother, Jody:

The chimpanzee being treated is given an injectable anesthetic in an enclosure designed for this purpose – it’s small and has no furniture or other things to climb on so that they won’t get hurt as they lose their coordination from the anesthetic (right now this is one of the front rooms – the same room you’ve seen in recent videos where the chimps like to watch their playroom parties being set up). Once they are fully anesthetized, we strap them on a stretcher and wheel them to the clinic where they’re put on gas anesthesia and hooked to cardiac and anesthetic monitors for their safety.

Our clinic, which is in the back of a 38-foot trailer, has served us well for the few procedures we have had to do, but part of the expansion project we hope to break ground on this year includes even better spaces for anesthesia induction, medical intervention, and recovery. The new and improved space will help the seven chimpanzees currently at CSNW as well as the new chimpanzees we expect to welcome over the next few years.

Here’s Negra in the clinic being prepped for surgery:

Anesthesia can be hard on a chimpanzee, particularly when they are older or ill. That’s why we try to do as much health monitoring and treatment as we can while they are awake using positive reinforcement training. But sometimes more complicated procedures require full anesthesia. Thankfully, Negra did great throughout the procedure, and she was soon on her way back to the enclosure where she could be monitored during her recovery. As one of our anesthesiologists taught us, anesthesiology is like flying a plane – the most dangerous times are takeoff and landing. So as a chimpanzee recovers, we have to watch them very closely. We position them on their side near the caging, propped up by blankets, so that we can monitor their breathing and pull their ET tube when they’re ready.

Once they start coming to, they feel generally crummy for a little while. But soon they realize that they are on a pile of blankets on a heated floor, and what better opportunity is there to take a nice long nap?

Negra is starting to feel better this morning, slowly but surely. It’s best for her to remain apart from the group for a little while longer to give her toe a better chance of healing quickly. So she’s been grooming with her friends through the caging and getting indulged with special treats. But more than anything, she’s been focusing on what she does best: resting. This is a chimpanzee that knows how to follow doctor’s orders.


Who’s your favorite Queen?

Monday, January 9th, 2017


(Photos courtesy of Keri 🙂 )