Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

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!

Today is for Missy and the “Wagmanagerie”!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

There is so much to celebrate today and we’re so fortunate to have had two people sponsor this day of sanctuary! Our first sponsor, Martin Hollander, sponsored today in honor of his chimpanzee pal, Missy, on her birthday, as well as his human pals, Bruce and Deb Wagman, and their animal family, all lovingly referred to as “the Wagmanagerie.”

Bruce and Deb volunteer countless hours in countless ways to ensure the well-being and life long care of the chimpanzees. They are compassionate and generous beings who advocate tirelessly to improve the lives of so many animals. We are honored to have them as part of our chimpanzee family. Deb and Bruce, we love you guys and hope today is full of love, comfort and joy for you.

Deb and her buddy, Burrito:

web_burrito and deb play in tunnel IMG_0103

And we also celebrate beloved Missy as she turns 40 years young today! Missy is one of those amazing people who despite everything she has suffered, lost and endured, has opened the door to her life in sanctuary and run toward it. Figuratively and literally. She seems to embrace every minute of her days whether she is running across Young’s Hill or through the chimp house with utter joy and abandon, chasing her best friend, Annie, foraging for wild greens, racing her caregivers to the garden window to ask for tomatoes, or backing up her chimpanzee family without hesitation. She is such a special chimpanzee woman. We love you Missy! Happy Birthday!!


Martin, thank you so much for sponsoring such a special day and for all that you do for Missy and her family!

Check back shortly to learn about our second sponsor for the day!

Chimpanzees and insect eating

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

When I started to write this, J.B. was leading a Summer Visit tour:

JB giving presentation

I’d be willing to bet that one of the things he explained is what we put in the termite mound / treat rock on Young’s Hill. Generally, what we say is that the termite mound mimics ant hills or termite mounds that chimpanzees encounter in the wild, and we provide the chimpanzees with tools to access the goodies inside. It’s great enrichment because it involves tool use and problem solving, and it taps into natural chimpanzee behavior.

The difference, we explain, is that chimpanzees in captivity do not appreciate termites and ants! They react to “bugs” the same way most industrialized human cultures do – as a nuisance, but definitely not as a source for food. And that is why, instead of insects, we put things like mashed up bananas and/or peanut butter in the mound for the chimpanzees to fish out.

The chimpanzees, however, have a way of proving what we say to be wrong. I still don’t think that any of the chimpanzees would appreciate it if we put insects in the pvc tubes that screw into the termite mound, but Jamie and Missy have recently discovered a surprising delicacy – wasp larvae.

This is doubly surprising, given that the chimps certainly do not like wasps, and Jamie has been stung before. Apparently, that risk is worth harvesting this new treat. I wonder how they even discovered that the nests contained something they would like!

Here are a few photos I managed to get of Jamie with a nest that she brought in from Young’s Hill:

Jamie with a wasps' nest


Jamie with a wasps' nest 4


Jamie with a wasps' nest 3


Watching her, it wasn’t entirely clear to me how much of the larvae she was eating, because she seemed to be selectively eating some parts and not others, but she was clearly enjoying the experience:

Jamie with a wasps' nest 2


I haven’t been able to capture any photos of Missy with wasp nests, so you’ll have to take my word that she is very excited when she has a nest, perhaps even more so than Jamie.


Speaking of Missy, it’s her 40th birthday tomorrow!!!

Missy on the hill

Above is a photo of Missy from today as she took a rest before running the perimeter of Young’s Hill.


I defy anyone to call Missy old – she has one of the youngest spirits I’ve known in a chimpanzee. Whether she is searching for wasp nests, running like mad, wrestling with her BFF Annie, or demanding garden tomatoes, she demonstrates, daily, a sense of freedom that she’s found in her second chance at life (read this blog post from 2014 about Missy’s quite literal second chance).

We will be having a big celebration for Missy 40th tomorrow, so be sure to check here on the blog for photos of the party and wish her a happy birthday!

Troll Scarf Tug-o-War

Friday, August 21st, 2015

It’s already being heralded as the match of the century – Jamie vs Foxie in an epic Troll Scarf Tug-o-War battle! Turn up your sound for the full effect.

You Can’t Please Everyone

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Our caregivers make a valiant effort to juggle all of the chimpanzees’ needs, personalities, and moods. Some days it goes better than others.

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.

Love on a Windy Day

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Three members of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest family had weddings today – the brides are new staff member Anna and dedicated volunteer Becca, who is marrying Lars, also a volunteer. I wanted to wish them a special congratulations using photos of the chimpanzees taken on this windy day, so here goes:

Anna & Andy and Becca & Lars, may your love be…

As sweet as Annie:

Sweet Annie


As endearing as Burrito:

Burrito with amazing shoulder hair


As playful as Foxie:

Foxie carrying Dora


As strong as Jamie:

Jamie standing on structure


As unique as Jody:

Jody with hands full


As loyal as Missy:

Missy with sunflowers


And as inspiring as Negra:

Negra with green onions


A little backstory on the photo of Missy above – in honor of the couples, I put out two sunflowers from the garden as part of the chimps’ lunch forage. I expected Jody to be the one to get them, but it was Missy!

Here are a few more photos:

Missy retrieving sunflowers

Missy leaving the treat rock

Missy carry her stash Missy carrying her stash 2


Happy wedding day to all four of you!


Never too old to have fun

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Annie and Missy are a couple of old ladies. They don’t seem to know this, however, so let’s not tell them and we’ll just hope they never find out.

Cooling Off

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

It’s been a hot summer in Cle Elum, with heatwave after heatwave. Recently, volunteer caregiver Patti helped Jamie cool down.

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.