Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

A whirlwind of years

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Today is about time flying by and some of the great random moments in the lives of the chimpanzees over the last ten years.

I’ve started and stopped this blog so many times today that I lost count.

 

There were toys to clean:

 

Laundry to do:

 

Amazing interns to train:

 

Paper braids for evening enrichment to be made (most of which were made by the aforementioned amazing interns):

 

 

And of course walks to take. Jamie was in the running mood today, so this quick snapshot was the only halfway decent photo I was able to get on one of our day walks:

 

Plus a whole host of other daily activities.

 

And then more walks after dinner! (well after I thought I would have this blog posted).

Courtesy of the unseasonably mild weather and the lengthening days, Jamie did three more walks after her evening meal, with Missy joining her for two of them.

 

This year’s HOOT! gala on May 19th will celebrate ten years of the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees living the sanctuary life. TEN YEARS!

We are in the process of a website redesign right now. I’m really excited about a whole new look that highlights the great photos of the chimpanzees and hopefully makes it easy for people to be drawn in and fall in love with them. Here’s a sneak peek:

When the designers were starting to move the data over from the existing site into the new design, they ran into a snag because of the amount of content that we had in the blog. Ten years worth of photos, videos, and stories, it seems, takes up quite a bit of space.

I love that we have this diary of the chimpanzees’ days and the moments that were funny, poignant, and sometimes even mundane.

I remember being a kid and thinking that a week, or even a day (an hour?), was an excruciatingly long time to wait for something. I remember adults saying, “don’t complain – when you get older, time will fly by.”

Never were truer words uttered.

Lately, I feel like I’m in a movie montage – days pass by in seconds, and years are contained in just a minute’s worth of highlights. But then there’s this blog with all of these posts that mark real moments in time over the last several years. Moments that the chimpanzees were living to the fullest. Days that were spent with companionship, favorite foods, boots, trolls, blankets. Years that marked new additions to their home. Almost a decade of exploration into this new life they were given.

 

Here’s a look back on the last ten years of blog posts for January 20th (or thereabouts – we didn’t always post to the blog every single day – can you imagine!)

 

January 21, 2008:

not-so-shy Foxie

 

January 19, 2009:

Trolls: Not just for Foxie!

 

January 19, 2010:

Annie Upside Down

 

 

January 20, 2011:

Greenhouse play

 

January 21, 2012:

the snow days continue

 

January 20, 2013:

Floppy ears

 

January 20, 2014:

There’s something about Burrito

 

January 21, 2015:

Always a reason to play

 

January 20, 2016:

20 snapshots of the day

 

January 20, 2017:

Tool Use

 

And that bring us to today. Happy January 20th to everyone. Thank you for following along!

 

Alone Time

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Foxie is one of the more gregarious chimps I’ve known, but even the most social primate needs to be alone once and a while.

At CSNW, each day begins with a group activity – breakfast. When that’s done, the chimps typically head out onto the hill together. Jamie does her first patrol, Missy runs in all directions, Burrito obsessively follows whichever of the girls is cycling at the time…and eventually they head back inside together for some rest. But there’s often one straggler.

This morning, Foxie remained outside, as she often does, atop one of the towers. This is her favorite place to be alone.

I can see why this has become her spot. It’s a great place for her to bring her dolls for private games of make-believe.

Before we purchased the property next door, it was also the perfect location to covertly surveil our neighbor.

It’s a peaceful, private place. Just sit back and watch the river flow by and the cows graze.

Soon enough there will be excitement. There will be stress. There will be politics.

But for a little while, there’s just Foxie.

foxie and the landscape

Thank you, Gabi!

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Today was sponsored by Gabi Ford with the simple, but heartfelt sentiment: “I get so much enjoyment from seeing the Cle Elum 7.”

Gabi, thank you so much for your gift for the chimps and contributing so generously to their lives. I am pretty sure you speak for us all. While we are all here together to ensure the chimps receive as much as possible to thrive and flourish in their lives, it’s incredible to see what a source of hope, love, compassion, inspiration and pure joy they are for so many of us.

Negra:

Foxie:

Jamie:

Missy and Annie:

Jody:

Jody relaxing

Burrito:

Nice Day for a Walk

Monday, January 15th, 2018

When I arrived at CSNW this morning I was greeted by a nice long kiss by Jamie and breathy pants from the chimps. Jamie gestured for me to put a boot on and she broke into a game of chase. Jamie lead me outside to the greenhouse, where she ran up to door Y and insisted I open it so we could finish our game of chase on Young’s Hill. However, we close off the Hill at night for the chimps and before I can open any door there are checks that I have to do. But, trust me – I got her out there in good time! Today was a pretty mild winter day (which might explain some good moods this morning) and the chimps took full advantage of it. Jamie and Missy spent most of their day on Young’s Hill, and who could blame them! Jamie especially was loving this warmer winter weather! Jamie and I played games of chase inside, games of chase outside, we did countless walks, and spent sometime just sitting outside. Because we were outside for most of the day I was only able to capture a few photos.

Jamie eating some broccoli in her nest:

Missy taking a short break:

Jamie admiring her boots:

Jamie tucked her boots safely in her pelvic pocket; shortly afterwards she gave me those boots to go walk with her:

 

How Many Chimps Do You See?

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

How many chimps are in this picture? Can you name them? Ready… Go!

Bonus photos!

Annie sitting on top of the Twister:

Foxie:

Missy eating snow:

Burrito taking a stroll with the ladies:

Jamie ready for a walk and Missy following behind:

Jody was on a mission (probably to find snow):

Jody and Foxie:

While everyone was outside Negra grabbed a bunch of blankets and took a nap:

Later, Jamie went out and sat on the Twister for a while:

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Eric Beckley sponsored a day of sanctuary in honor of Adrienne DiCerbo with this lovely message:

“For Adrienne on her Birthday. From Eric and Leo. She briefly volunteered at your sanctuary and loves all your chimps, especially when they are playing, eating, and loving each other.”

Eric thank you for choosing such a kind and compassionate gift for Adrienne and the chimps!

And Adrienne, we so appreciate you sharing your birthday with the chimps and continuing to help ensure that all the chimps’ days are filled with joy, good food to grunt and squeak about, and so much love. We hope it’s the best birthday yet!

Happy Birthday from all of us at CSNW!

A Jamie and Foxie pretzel:

Jamie and Foxie in a Chimpanzee Pretzel

Trying new things

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

The other day, after the PRT session that Elizabeth filmed, Jamie and I followed a typical post-PRT routine. Because I had spent the last fifteen minutes requesting that she do things, it was her turn to request that I do something (I’m pretty sure that Jamie believes it is ALWAYS time for the humans to do something for her, but I digress). So I put on her latest favorite pair of boots, we did a perimeter walk, and afterward we settled in for a grooming session in the greenhouse.

Jamie is easily the most dexterous chimpanzee I’ve ever known, and she’s a master at using tools. Her fine-motor ability is really quite impressive. Just watch this video of Jamie giving J.B. a “manicure” and read this story about her tool-altering skills and forethought.

It was just Jamie in the greenhouse, grooming my fingers and the boots, when Annie came over with a tool of her own.

 

For the first several years of Annie’s sanctuary life, she didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the humans – not because she wasn’t interested in us, but, I think, because she was a ball of anxiety, and she didn’t want to over-step her place in the social world of chimpanzees and humans. We have written many times on the blog about Annie’s ever-growing confidence in the last few years (for example, this touching post from Elizabeth).

 

We’ve witnessed all of the chimpanzees trying new things over the last nine+ years at the sanctuary. We’ve gotten to know them so well that when they do something new, it stands out. You may already be familiar with “Fake Neggie” – a nickname for Missy when she is adopting Negra’s quintessential blanket-over-head nesting style.

 

You may not know that there was a time a few years ago when Negra decided troll dolls were her thing too, carrying one with her from bed to meals to adventures on Young’s Hill.

It lasted for a few weeks, then the fad seemed to pass for Negra and she’s been mostly troll-less ever since, leaving the doll obsession to Foxie.

 

Jody is sometimes seen with troll dolls, and Annie tries them out once in a while too.

 

Imitation is an important part of observing and learning. J.B. wrote a blog post back in 2012 about how copying the behavior of others shouldn’t be dismissed as somehow intellectually unimpressive. It’s worth the read.

 

When Annie confidently walked towards me with her rather blunt tool and pushed it out through the caging to groom the boot I was wearing, my smile could not have been any bigger. She was clumsy and awkward with the over-sized tool she had chosen, but she gave it a go, even with boss Jamie sitting right there to watch.

 

Annie didn’t stay long, and I don’t think she had any kind of magical insight about why Jamie spends so much time engaging in this behavior.

 

To have an interesting and full life and to get a better idea of who you are, you have to try new things – even things you aren’t sure you will be good at doing. Annie seems to know this now. She’s 100% signed up for this sanctuary life, and I have no doubt she and her chimpanzee companions will continue to try new things, figuring out more about themselves and delighting and surprising us along the way.

 

Good morning, Neggie!

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Mornings are generally a rambunctious time at the sanctuary, but if we’re lucky, Burrito will hold off on his dominance displays long enough for us to say a quiet “good morning” to the group. We use the chimps’ language as much as possible, which means we greet them with breathy panting, soft grunts, and head bobbing. Negra is usually the last to get out of bed, and her sleepy greetings are a perfect way to start the day.

Happy Birthday, Lynn!

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Dawn Garcia and Jo Arroyo sponsored a day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees and one of their (and our!) dear friends, Lynn Williamson! They shared this lovely message about this lovely woman who we are all thrilled to celebrate today:

“Happy Birthday Lynn Williamson! We knew this gift, sponsoring the chimps for a day in your honor, would be exactly what you would want. Lynn has been a dear friend for decades. She was a champion for the Cle Elem Seven upon her very first meeting years ago. She adores them and as a dedicated volunteer, has favorite stories she shares about each one, but we won’t tell if she has a favorite! Lynn has a huge heart for not only the chimpanzees but all animals. She is very compassionate about captive wild animals, doing her part to make them comfortable and enriched. That’s one of the reasons she volunteers with CSNW; DIana, JB and the chimpanzee caregivers ensure the chimps have the best life possible. Lynnie is a gentle soul, loyal, fun and a sometimes silly, best friend. Seattle BFF, enjoy your happy day! with big love, Dawn and Jo”

Thanks, Dawn and Jo, for sponsoring today for the chimps and Lynn! We so appreciate your big, compassionate hearts.

Lynn, we’re so happy to celebrate you today and hope your heart is full of all the good things. Thank you for all you do for our fellow animals of the world. We’re all lucky to have you here. Happiest of birthdays from all the primates at the sanctuary and whether you choose to relax or kick up your heels (or both!) we hope it’s the best one yet!

Jamie’s nest

Friday, January 5th, 2018

It’s been very quiet here today. Freezing rain has left everything coated in a thick layer of ice, making it nearly impossible to travel to or from the sanctuary.

Jamie didn’t seem too upset by the fact that her two-acre habitat had frozen over. In fact, she seemed to relish the opportunity to stay inside, make a cozy nest with blankets, giant stuffed animals, and her favorite boots, and leisurely flip through a new book about primates.