Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

Photos of an Amazing Chimpanzee Named Jamie

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Photography, to me, is fascinating both as an art form and as a documentary tool. There’s no doubt that the end result – the photos that are shared – say as much about the photographer as the subject.

All of the caregivers here at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest take photos (a LOT of photos) of the chimpanzees, and we each go through the process of choosing those photos that we feel best represents the moment or the individual we were trying to capture.

I was looking through photos of Jamie and discovered several from this year that I had taken that hadn’t been posted to the blog yet. Sometimes I like to save photos for print like in our annual calendar, which I’ll be working on soon, but it’s pretty difficult not to share, so I decided not to save them but to share the ones I rediscovered today with you blog readers.

With Jamie’s procedure yesterday and the two of us working together on positive reinforcement training for the last several months, Jamie’s been on my mind pretty much constantly.

No one who knows her would tell you that Jamie is an “easy chimpanzee.” Being her caregiver is a constant challenge. She’s demanding and moody and strong-willed. Despite these characteristics, or probably because of them, I can’t think of a single person on this earth that I admire and respect more than Jamie.

I hope this admiration, respect, and love comes through in these photos I took of her over the last year. And I hope these images provide a glimpse into the amazing, strong, curious and wonderful person that Jamie is:

Jamie straightforward

Jamie with brush

Jamie in a nest of boots

Jamie mischievious

Jamie foraging

Jamie beautiful

Jamie contemplative

Jamie serious

I would love it if you chose one of these photos (or all, by linking to this blog post) to share Jamie and her story with those you know. You can find out more about her past on her short bio page and the more in-depth history of her life before sanctuary on her Eyes on Apes profile page.

It makes me so happy to know that she has admirers our there!

Jamie’s exam

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

A while back, Jamie developed an abscess on her swelling that would not resolve. Thanks to our positive reinforcement training program, Jamie was letting Diana flush the wound twice a day with an antibiotic solution, but unfortunately it still wasn’t healing. So today, with the help of our wonderful vet, Dr. Erin Zamzow, and the long-distance support of board member Dr. Mensching, we decided to anesthetize Jamie to get a better look.

To say that Jamie was cooperative would be an understatement – it’s more like she’s a part of the veterinary team. We always have to isolate chimpanzees prior to anesthesia so that we can make sure they have an empty stomach and most chimpanzees quickly figure out what’s in store for them. As you can imagine, that can be quite stressful and scary. But Jamie spent the entire morning playing with her caregivers, seemingly without a care in the world. When the time came to induce anesthesia, she willingly presented her arm to Diana for injection.

Along with Dr. Zamzow, we were so grateful to have help today from Dr. Fuller of Ellensburg Animal Hospital, who brought a digital x-ray machine so that we could determine the extent of the wound and ensure there wasn’t a foreign body inside.

All in all it was good news: the injury wasn’t as extensive as we feared, and the x-rays all looked good. Dr. Zamzow was able to sterilize the wound and Diana will continue with the cooperative treatments until Jamie is fully healed. Right now, Jamie is enjoying some quiet time by herself in a room filled with blankets, with waiters on hand to give her sips of Gatorade whenever she desires.

When we are done with procedures, we position the chimps in a way that protects their airway as they recover, and to facilitate this we lay them on a couple of scarves with the ends passed through the caging so that we can gently roll them back into position if they slump over the wrong way. As soon as Jamie was up and about, she put a scarf right back to use as a fashion accessory. You can tell she’s feeling better already.




Today is in honor of Lisa Stuverud!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The wonderful “Pay it Forward for the Chimpanzees” streak continues today through the generosity of the chimps’ good friend, Julie Lawell, who sponsored today’s day of sanctuary in honor of Lisa Stuverud (who sent out out another wave in this ripple effect of giving yesterday, in honor of Lisa Nowak)! Julie shared this message about today:

“Recognizing the bloggers who bring us such wonderful daily news and great pictures and videos seems like a nice tradition to start. I wouldn’t know nearly as much as I do about the chimps and their beautiful sanctuary without the blogs. Its really is wonderful to see the incredible things you do for the chimps and how much their lives have improved by being with you all. Your email is a cherished highlight of my day. Thank you so much!”

Julie, big, big thanks to you for all you do for the chimpanzees and for honoring Lisa and all of us today! We all love writing the blog so much! It makes it even more rewarding to know that sharing the lives of these wonderful chimpanzees with our amazing supporters is not only so welcome and enjoyed, but that it’s inspiring such compassion among our fellow primates.

Burrito, adorable man-chimp extraordaire:

Burrito with chow in mouth


Tug of War With Burrito

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Burrito is a guy who isn’t afraid to get a little silly. This afternoon he talked caregiver Whitney into a long game of tug of war.

Today is for Meg Lunnum!

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Lisa Nowak! Lisa chose to sponsor today for the chimpanzees in a unique way. Yesterday’s Sponsor-a-Day from Meg Lunnum inspired Lisa to do the same and she sends this wonderful message about today:

“I don’t know Meg Lunnum but her sponsorship in honor of the bloggers inspired me to sponsor in her honor. That was such a brilliant idea Meg! I love this blog and am grateful for it everyday. It brings joy and happiness to me every time I read it. Meg your recognition of the bloggers deserves recognition. Thank you to Meg and all the bloggers.”

Lisa, what an incredible thing to do! Thank you for honoring Meg, she is a special person! And we are so happy knowing how much you enjoy the blog and following the chimps. Thank you for also honoring them today through your generous gift and making a difference in their lives.

I think all of us here at the sanctuary are in an incredibly fortunate position to not only care for these seven amazing chimpanzees, but to see the kindness, compassion and love that they inspire in so many humans. That ripple effect surrounds the sanctuary and is such a special thing to witness and be a part of.

An oldie, but favorite of Negra (l) and Jody (r):

web Negra Jody cute faces playroom IMG_1220

Summer Lovin’ 2015 Party Video

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

As promised, below is the Summer Lovin’ Party video. This video is a thank you to everyone who made a Summer Lovin’ donation as part of our Summer Biddin’ online auction. The chimpanzees certainly deserve a party!

As the video mentions, Burrito really won the day by keeping his cool when he snagged one of the coconuts.

Burrito with shot of smoothie and coconut


Burrito has come a long way and knows a lot more about how to navigate the social world of chimpanzees than he did when the chimpanzees arrived at the sanctuary seven years ago!


I hope you enjoy the lighthearted video:

Thank you, Meg!

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by long-time friend and supporter of the sanctuary, Meg Lunnum, in honor of the bloggers here at the sanctuary! We are often asked who writes the daily blog posts and the wonderful thing is that we all do. Each of the staff are scheduled to serve as Lead Caregiver in the chimp house on different days and whoever is lead for the day is the one who writes the blog that day.

Meg is such an incredible advocate not only for the chimpanzees, but for bats as well! Through the non-profit Bats Northwest Meg works to protect our Pacific Northwest bat population and helps educate people about these special mammals and the important role they play in our environment and lives. In sponsoring today, Meg shared this lovely message:

“I’ve been thinking about dedicating a day to the fearless copy writers who write the daily blog. After Wednesday’s “Her Royal-Neggie-ness”, I could wait no longer. Much appreciation to those ink slingers, quill drivers, scribes, scriveners, correspondents, journalists, storytellers, poets, and dramatists extraordinaire who bring to life Negra, Annie, Foxie, Burrito, Missy, Jody and Jamie. You make those of us who read the blog feel a part of the energy and vitality of the chimp sanctuary. Thank you.”

Meg, this was such a kind and generous thing to do, thank you! We are so grateful to you for the immense difference you make in the chimpanzees’ lives and are so happy to have you as part of our chimp family.

It’s our goal with the blog not only to offer information and education, but to help all of you feel connected to the chimpanzees and get to know them as the unique and amazing individuals they are. We are honored to be able to share their lives and daily adventures and it’s our sincere hope that you feel a part of their lives. Whether you are just discovering the blog or have been a dedicated follower, thank you so much for taking the time to read/like/share our daily thoughts/ramblings/photos because every single post is inspired by the heart of the sanctuary, the chimpanzees themselves. We couldn’t be more grateful to you for caring about the chimps and for not only making this life possible for them, but building hope for all those still awaiting their sanctuary and all those living their natural wild lives who deserve to do so in peace and protection.

Meg’s pal, Negra:


Taking it as it comes

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Today was a little different. I don’t think there’s any such thing as normal, ho-hum day in the chimp house, but some days stray more from the routine than others.

This morning we set up the Summer Lovin‘ party in the greenhouse. Big thanks to everyone who gave for Summer Lovin’ during our recent Summer Biddin’ online auction!

I chose to have the party today because I knew the chimpanzees wouldn’t have Young’s Hill for all or most of the day, and I figured they could use a party to distract them from this. It was for good reason – a team of volunteers were helping J.B. plant some new bamboo on the hill and hang new fire hose!

The party was a blast, and Anna and I took a lot of photos, which kind of put us behind schedule by a bit.

Below are just a few of the photos we took.


The beach-themed Summer Lovin’ Party set-up. Volunteer Lizz and Anna set up the party. The “cocktail” was fresh pressed watermelon juice and seltzer water.

summer lovin set-up


Negra with one of the beach ball pinatas:

Negra holding beach ball pinata


Missy with a lime, a cocktail umbrella, and a coconut:

Missy in windowsill with cocktail umbrella and coconut


Jody who got and held on to the top of the pineapple (you can see it sticking up behind the beach ball pinata – she’s holding it with her feet as she eats a peanut from the pinata):

Jody eating peanut


Burrito with a coconut and Foxie in the foreground:

Burrito and Foxie

It was fun watching the chimps enjoy their party as the volunteers were hard at work planting bamboo on the hill.

Saturdays is one of our disinfecting days, and that takes longer than just a regular cleaning, so the whole day we stayed behind schedule. Which was fine, really – the schedule is just an outline for the day, not something to be adhered to with fanaticism.

The good news is that the chimps did get to go out onto the hill in the late afternoon. We put out a forage of roasted corn, which was a big hit, tomatoes, and onions.


Annie on “round two” looking for more forage:

Annie foraging


Jamie enjoying the corn:

Jamie eating corn


After the dinner forage, Missy decided to check out the new fire hose and the bamboo. J.B. got these photos of her:

Missy sitting on new fire hose

Missy reaching for bamboo

Missy with new bamboo in mouth


And then there was Jamie, who needed to make up for the time she didn’t have on the hill today. So, I’ve spent the last couple of hours walking around the hill with her.

Jamie walking by the memorial walkway.

Jamie walking around hill, memorial stones in foreground


Sometimes it’s impossible to both please your boss and get all of your work done… so, I haven’t yet put together the video clips from the party with a thank you to everyone who gave summer lovin’ donations.

But that just means you have something to look forward to tomorrow!

Good night, everyone – from the Cle Elum Seven, who are all now sleeping, and their human crew.

The view from the top

Friday, September 25th, 2015

It’s not uncommon to find Missy on one of the towers at the top of Young’s Hill, just taking in the view.




Jody tagged along with Missy on one of her little adventures this afternoon.





On the way back down, Jody made sure to grab a snack to bring back to the greenhouse.



When we got to the bottom of the hill, I got what I’m pretty sure is the world’s only photo of a chimpanzee watching an elk watching the UPS man (you may have to look closely to find Ellie in the middle).