Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

On Rainy Days

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

For most of the day it was pouring down rain at CSNW. To pass the time until the rain cleared the chimps tried to keep themselves busy with their favorite activities. Foxie played with her new dolls, Annie and Missy groomed, Negra and Jody napped, Jamie supervised volunteers and staff while they cleaned, and Burrito played with his scooter and a slinky. For lunch volunteers prepared green onions, roasted beets, and roasted potatoes. Nothing sounds better than warm food on a cold day. The rain finally cleared which meant it was time to put some boots on and walk. All in all we had a nice quiet rainy day at CSNW.

An exciting lunch:

Annie observing quietly in the cargo net:








Busy work

Friday, October 20th, 2017

We had this giant box of shipping/moving paper saved up with a fun enrichment project in mind. After Jamie and Burrito dismantled the box, Missy was more than happy to recycle the paper as lining in her giant nest!

Crisp days and spooky nights

Monday, October 16th, 2017

We’ve already seen some snow in the surrounding mountains and apparently have a long stretch of rain on the way, but for now the days have been dawning with beautiful blue skies and crisp, frosty mornings. Despite being able to see our breath in the morning air, the chimps have been loving being on Young’s Hill and waiting to warm up in the bright sun:

Peas-in-a-pod, Annie and Missy, climbed up together to enjoy the view in the cold autumn air:

Jody sat for ages in the morning sun then ventured up the hill for a snack to bring back to the top of the greenhouse where she could warm up:

And much to my surprise, when Jamie and I were returning from a walk around the hill, I spotted Negra of all people enjoying the sun and the view despite the cold temperatures:

I think Foxie was just as surprised to spot Negra out on such a brisk morning and decided she and her current favorite doll would check in on Negra:

Double-decker chimps:

In other news, Jamie has been doing something new this year! As a little background, if you’ve been a follower of the blog for very long you are probably aware that Jamie often enjoys late evening strolls with her caregivers. After dinner, after the other chimps have gone to bed, and past the time that her caregivers are supposed to go home for the day. We can’t blame her, evenings at the sanctuary are lovely, peaceful times and during summer a welcome relief from the heat of the day. We’ve adjusted our schedule so that we all rotate to cover PM on call in the evenings and two of us can be with her in the event that she (or anyone else) chooses to stay out past the end of our shift. This is one of many beauties of sanctuary; the chimps get to choose when they want to come in for the night. And it’s really a heartfelt joy and honor to be able to provide such a home for them.

Up until this year, we knew that even if Jamie wanted to stay out late, once it got dark she was ready to come inside. Well, that’s no longer the case! Back in August, and again last night, Jamie decided to brave walking around the hill with us in the pitch dark! The first time Jamie did this she was clearly nervous, but clearly wanted to go so Kelsi and I grabbed the spotlight and scanned the hill for her so she could see everything and know she was safe. It took her awhile to build up her courage, but once she made up her mind we were off! Kelsi held a light for us to see where we were going while I held the spotlight just ahead of Jamie to light her path. At every corner of the perimeter we’d stop and I’d light up the entire path ahead of her to remind her she was safe and then we’d venture on.

It’s phenomenal to me when I think how much courage this took for her to do. Not only is it entirely unnatural for a chimp to be on the ground outside in the dark (let alone one who spent three decades in a small cage in biomedical research), but she had to trust us enough to hold the light for her all the way around and not leave her. But once we made our way safely around she was thrilled, ready to go again! We walked around and around that night, carving a path with the light until 10:30!

So last night Jamie decided she was ready for another brave adventure. In the spirit of spooky, magical autumn nights and the month of Jamie-ween (we celebrate Jamie’s birthday on Halloween) here is Jamie in the pitch dark of the green house last night gesturing for Kelsi and I to put on the cowboy boots and get ready to run around the hill again. To say she was thrilled with the evening is an understatement. You can see the light from the chimp house through the doorway behind her where everyone else was cozy and asleep in their night nests. And what better way to celebrate Jamie’s birthday month and get into the spirit of Jamie-ween than a photo a little reminiscent of the “Blair Chimp Project”:

Forage While We Can

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

What a great day to be at the sanctuary! The morning started chilly and we thought the chimps couldn’t possibly want a forage on the Hill. But, to our delight it was the perfect day to be outside and especially to have a forage on the Hill. It is important to spend time outside while we can before the dreaded winter comes. The chimps spent a great deal of their day in the Green House and out on Young’s Hill. We also had some visitors for our lunch forage that Jamie was very curious about. She even had the group walk the perimeter with her.

Negra nestled in the comfy nest soaking up the morning sun:

Jody also relaxing in a soft warm bed soaking up some vitamin D:

Missy sitting on the window ledge in the Green House:

Annie being very photogenic as per usual:

Negra enjoying the forage and observing guests:

Annie foraging:

Jody with a handful of food and trying if there is any more left:

Jamie sitting on the fire hose and eating kale:

Jamie also wanted to show off a bit for the group:

And man does she have balance:

After Jamie made the group go on a walk with her:


A Nod to Dr. Jane Goodall

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Thanks to CSNW board member Elizabeth List, J.B. and I recently had the opportunity to see Jane Goodall give a presentation to a small group of people hosted by the Seattle Foundation.

Here is Elizabeth and Dr. Goodall (you may be able to tell from this photo that Elizabeth was pretty excited to share a stage with Jane):


And here we are, in case you didn’t believe me:

jane with jb and diana


Like many other devoted fans, we’ve met Dr. Goodall several times over the years and have seen her speak in very diverse venues, and she never fails to be truly inspirational. She’s a force for good in this world. Her legacy reaches every corner of the earth, in both big and small ways. She is a groundbreaking animal behavior scientist, a role model for girls and women, and a voice of both compassion and reason in matters concerning the environment and animals.

In my world, her influence is present nearly everyday because she literally wrote the book on chimpanzee behavior. When we describe chimpanzee facial expressions, vocalizations, social interactions, and all other behavior, we are most often using the terminology that developed from the hours upon hours that Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees in their natural habitat. She published papers and books that proceeded it, but the quintessential academic book on chimpanzee behavior, that every primatologist has on their bookshelves, is called The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior.

I could say that this blog post is a nod to Jane Goodall’s work, but really almost all of our blog posts, and, indeed, the sanctuary itself, in the big picture, is thanks to Jane Goodall and her work that allowed us all a glimpse into the world of our closest living relatives.

As I’ve written before on this blog – my favorite chimpanzee facial expression is, as Jane Goodall named it, “relaxed face with drooped lip.”

Among all of the chimpanzees who I have worked directly for over the years, there is no one that illustrates that face better than Jody. Here are two photos that J.B. took of Jody demonstrating the perfect relaxed face with drooped lip:


Jody drooped lip

Jody drooped lip profile
















A small miracle

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Nearly ten years ago, we met these chimpanzees in the windowless basement of a laboratory where they had lived for decades, often alone. Each walk around Young’s Hill still feels like a small miracle.

Happy Birthday, Vicki!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

We are sending birthday wishes to a very special person today.

Happy Birthday to Vicki Fagerlee, one of our favorite visitors, from all the chimps (and your loving family)!

Thanks to Vicki’s (human) family, Jim, Kim, and family for sponsoring the day in her honor!


May you take some time to rest, like Annie:


play, like Burrito:


spend some time with a loved one, like Foxie and Jamie:

Foxie doll on back


enjoy a treat (or three), like Jody:

jody shoulders


have an adventure, like Missy:

Missy tightrope walking


and end your day as comfortably as you began it, like Negra:

Are you a Morning Person?

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Personally I love the mornings, however I know many people who are not. The chimps have preferences also! When I walk into the chimp house in the morning I can often find Negra in bed, Missy & Annie playing, Foxie running around, Burrito fully charged for the day, Jamie waiting to instruct us to put boots on, and Jody may or may not still be in bed. Today I walked into the chimp house to find Foxie and Burrito happily wrestling and tickling each other.

A different doll for Foxie!

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Foxie goes through phases where she takes special interest in one of her dolls. When it’s not being tossed playfully to caregivers, this purple haired doll has been by her side for weeks:

It’s pretty different than her usual loves, not a Dora or a troll doll, but something that we’ve never seen before. After a little bit of investigation, we found out that she’s a Strawberry Shortcake doll! We’re excited for Foxie to be branching out a little bit and for all the fun shopping that comes with it (this doll has friends with many different colors of hair after all)!

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jonathan Londono in honor of Jessica! Jonathan shared this sweet message about today:

“This is for my beautiful and caring girlfriend Jessica. Jess learned very quickly about my obsession with chimps and not long after did she and I become big fans of CSNW. Jess sends me pictures of the chimps every morning and it always makes my day. She found a favorite in Foxie and is a big fan of hers. Jess is also a big yoga fan, so she loves it when the chimps do their best yoga poses! Thank you CSNW and happy birthday Jess!”

Jonathan, thanks so much for caring about the chimps and for making a difference in their lives by sponsoring this day for them in Jessica’s honor! Such a kind gift! We are thankful to you both for your care and support of the chimps.

Jessica, all of us here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays yet! Maybe you can incorporate some chimp yoga moves into your day. 🙂


Jody doing "yoga"



Negra happy baby pose


Foxie says, “If all else fails, just dance and kick about with utter abandon.”

Happy Birthday, Jessica!