Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

Jody’s eyes

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Over six and a half years ago, J.B., Diana, Sarah, and Keith all visited the chimpanzees while they were still in the Buckshire lab. J.B. wrote this entry about Jody and how the first thing he noticed about her were her striking eyes. After living at CSNW now for over six years, I think they are even more vibrant now than they ever have been before.




Chimpanzees: Always Curious

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

It’s important to have priorities in life, and the chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest are good at deciding what is top priority (usually food) and what is a close ranking second, as you’ll see in the video below.

Here’s what the back of the lower mount for the GoPro camera looks like. I caught this photo last week of Annie standing next to it. The steel mount, custom made by J.B., has a hinge and opens up to slip the camera in and then has a padlock to secure it.

Annie looking at GoPro mount

Conflict and Reconciliation

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Last week, a squabble broke out during dinner. Since we’re always talking about how we never capture conflicts on video, I decided to sit quietly and record the whole thing on my phone.

I’m always amazed at how much is going on during a fight. Alliances are being forged, tested, and sometimes broken. Old grudges are being dug up and rehashed. Some subordinate chimps are engaged in proxy fights on behalf their superiors, others are playing mediator and trying not to harm the alliances they’ve worked so hard to build, and some, like Burrito, are doing all they can just to stay out of the way. And that’s just the fight – as soon as it’s over, it’s on to reconciliation phase.

It’s easy to miss all of these things amidst all the screaming, so what follows is my attempt at a play-by-play.

Annie’s 40th

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

We celebrated Annie’s 40th birthday today! Her exact birthday is unknown since she was captured in the wild, but her records indicate that she was born sometime in 1974, and today is the day we picked to celebrate it. Annie certainly doesn’t act 40 at all! She’s still very young at heart—she shows her playful side daily when wrestling with Missy or running around Young’s Hill.

We wanted to celebrate her special day with some of her favorites—green grass, beets, green onions, piñatas, buckets of water, shovels, and chow! Thanks to some supplies Lisa Stuverud brought us we had a fun colorful party with new enrichment, too. We set up a breakfast forage first, and then volunteer Becca served Annie’s favorite veggies at lunch.

Here’s the party setup:


I love this photo — you can see the juice from the tangerine spraying to the side! Good shot by Elizabeth.

Annie with a mouthful of chow (she loves to wadge chow!)

Annie loves green grass, so we picked some for her and included bunches of it in their breakfast forage:

Some of her favorite veggies are green onions and beets:



The other chimps enjoyed the party too! Burrito the charmer practically posed during the forage for this photo:

Everyone loved the fruit! Here’s Jamie:




Missy loved the green grass:

And Jody ended up getting the piñatas (there was a Dora the Explorer piñata too, but that was torn up before we could snap a photo!)


Foxie got a new troll and some knuckle rubs from Diana, which made her laugh:

And Negra spent a lot of time in hard-to-see spots during the day, but I did get this picture of her beautiful relaxed face:

Happy 40th Birthday, Annie!

Negra playing chase

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

As many of you know, Negra isn’t the most active chimp. Her favorite activity is curling up in a nice big nest with a blanket over her head (second only to eating night bags!) Today, Diana got a special treat when Negra decided to play chase with her. Of course, Neggie’s version of chase was basically moving from one door to another door that is about five feet away — meanwhile Diana had to run all the way through the kitchen and to the other side of the building to meet her. This went on for a few rounds and I was wondering what was going on, but figured Diana was playing chase with Foxie or Missy, who are both known for their playfulness. But no, it was Negra! So I rushed to grab the camera, and only got the last bit of their chase bout. Annie got Negra’s attention and ran around with her for a little bit, which was also a treat to see. We love seeing the chimpanzees come out of their shells—even six years after they first arrived they still continue to surprise us.

Annie, believe it or not, is turning 40 tomorrow! I’m a little late on this request, but if you’re interested in sending Annie a few (belated) birthday gifts, check out our Amazon wishlist. I added some of the toys she likes the most (and have worn out, so we’d like some new ones!) plus there’s plenty of other supplies we need to keep Annie and the rest of the Cle Elum Seven living in a clean home and happy as can be. Based on the video above, I’d like to think we do a pretty good job at giving these deserving chimpanzees the best life possible. :)

We’ve got a fun party planned for Annie tomorrow, but here’s a picture of her to tide you over until then!


New Boot Protocol

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

When Jamie gets a new pair of boots, she likes to have a caregiver model them first. Here’s Debbie showing off new boots from Lisa Stuverud yesterday. (Jamie didn’t seem to mind that the boots were too small for Debbie.)


Then Jamie usually demands that the caregiver modeling the boots accompany her on a walk around Young’s Hill. When that’s done, Jamie’s ready for us to give her the boots. She spends some time inspecting them closely. Yesterday she even licked them.




Annie and Foxie

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Foxie and Annie both have a habit of getting mouthfuls of water and holding it for awhile. Annie sometimes uses the water later to wash her face, and Foxie tends to just take her time to slurp. Today they happened to both have mouthfuls of water, while in the playroom, and while looking at each other. They look like they’re having some kind of stand off.


Then Annie started to groom Foxie (they still had their mouths full) briefly.


And Foxie looked through some enrichment, testing out the trolls that were in front of her.





When the going gets tough

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

There’s always been a lot of tension between Jamie and Jody. Though Jamie is the alpha of the Cle Elum Seven, she’s never been secure in her leadership. She views everyone as a potential threat to her status as leader, and every action they take as a potential sign of disrespect. Jody, however, is strong willed and independent, and she refuses to submit to Jamie’s incessant demands for obedience.

Most of the mealtime conflicts here at CSNW follow the same script: Jody takes food that is rightfully hers. Jamie is upset that Jody took food. Jamie screams for ten minutes straight while following Jody around and demanding the food.

In their first few years at the sanctuary, Jody would break down and acquiesce. But over time she discovered that Jamie was more bark than bite, so she learned to hang onto the food in contention. And just the other day, when Jamie began her screaming routine over a piece of celery, Jody decided that she’d had enough, and she chased Jamie out onto Young’s Hill. Jamie was forced to take refuge on a climbing structure while Jody returned to the greenhouse to enjoy her celery in peace.

This one interaction doesn’t mean that Jody has taken over the alpha position in the group. She just doesn’t seem to have the drive or the backing to follow through with it. But it’s a good example of why the two might not always enjoy each others company.

Unless, that is, there is trouble afoot.

This morning, Jody was spooked by something out on the hill.


The others sensed her alarm and began to gather around.


But Jody wasn’t looking for their help. She knew exactly who she needed on her side in a situation like this.


She walked down the hill to meet Jamie, who was just coming out to check on the commotion. As soon as they met, Jody offered Jamie a kiss and embraced her in a request for reassurance.



Together, they joined up with Foxie and Burrito to patrol the area.




Jody may not always consider Jamie her best friend, but when the going gets tough, who are you going to turn to? The guy who hides behind a tree?



Or the boss?