Posts Tagged ‘primate rescue’

Knowledge and Responsibility

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I’m often told how great it must be to have a job caring for chimpanzees and I have to agree. There are so many highlights of working at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Of course, there are the chimpanzees, each with their own unique and inspiring qualities. And there are the incredibly compassionate and dedicated staff members, volunteers and donors that work on behalf of the Cle Elum Seven. Add in a beautiful setting and its the perfect job.

The truth is, I love my job, but I really wish it didn’t exist. The reality is there has to be chimpanzees in captivity for me to be a chimpanzee caretaker. But, chimpanzees do not belong in captivity. Period.

A past teacher of mine used to say “With knowledge comes responsibility”. I didn’t realize just how much those four words would mean until I started learning more about the fate of chimpanzees in the entertainment and biomedical industries and those kept as pets. Once I learned the fates of those chimpanzees, I stopped buying cards with pictures of chimpanzees “smiling” and I stopped watching movies with chimpanzees in them. But, I wanted to do more; I felt I had a responsibility to do more.

So, I am trying to do that, by helping to make captivity the best that it can possibly be for the chimpanzees of CSNW. This means respecting them as individuals, giving them choices, providing daily enrichment, sharing their stories and advocating for them and all apes.

These are the seven chimpanzees that I work for.

web_Jamie_sit_platform_look_toward_camera_top_YH_kh_IMG_4745

web_Burrito_closeup_wood_toy_enrichment_in_hand_GH_kh_IMG_5358

web_Foxie_sit_platform_arms_crossed_look_at_camera_YH_kh_IMG_4750

web_Missy_profile_sit_platform_look_away_YH_kh_IMG_4746

web_Negra_side_profile_walk_platform_toward_FRs_kh_IMG_5344

web_Jody_walk_platform_drooped_lip_YH_kh_IMG_4779

web_Annie_bipedal_walk_sequence_YH_kh_IMG_4756

Enjoying the Sunshine and the Tea Party

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

The chimpanzees were excited to make the most of the sunshine this morning by spending time on Young’s Hill. Jody was the first to venture outside, followed by Burrito, Jamie, Foxie, Missy and then Annie. Negra was close; she made it to the raceway that leads out to the hill, then sat down and looked outside.

Missy and Annie shared a few quiet minutes sitting together on top of the shaky bridge.

web_Missy_Annie_sit_together_shaky_bridge_YH_kh_IMG_4683

As soon as Missy spotted Jamie, she jumped down from the bridge and ran after her. And then Jamie took turns running after Missy.

web_Missy_follow_Jamie_quadrupedal_walk_patrol_YH_kh_IMG_4694

web_Missy_follow_Jamie_quadrupedal_walk_patrol_YH_kh_IMG_4695

web_Jamie_Missy_run_YH_kh_IMG_5337

And then Foxie joined Annie on the shaky bridge. (Annie is facing away from the camera)

web_Foxie_Annie_sit_shaky_bridge_food_in_mouth_YH_kh_IMG_4689

In the mean time, Negra sat quietly in the Greenhouse, near the raceway, alternating between looking outside and inspecting her hand.

web_Negra_profile_closeup_contemplate_GH_kh_IMG_5260

web_Negra_closeup_face_inspect_fingers_GH_kh_IMG_5264

Jody gathered some bamboo before heading back to the greenhouse to relax and groom herself.

web_Jody_bamboo_in_mouth_forage_walk_YH_kh_IMG_4713

web_Jody_closeup_inspect_arm_self_groom_lie_down_bench_GH_kh_IMG_5280

web_Jody_closeup_face_lie_down_bench_GH_kh_IMG_5277

Meanwhile, volunteers Erin and Jake set up a tea party for the chimpanzees in the Playroom for today’s “Tea Party” theme. Jamie was all about it. After drinking the tea, she inspected the inside of each cup; turning it upside down, sticking her fingers in the cup and then licking them. She gives meaning to the saying “Good to the last drop”

web_Jamie_tea_party_drink_cup_sit_floor_PR_kh_IMG_5288

web_Jamie_tea_party_finger_in_cup_sit_floor_PR_kh_IMG_5289

web_Jamie_tea_party_finger_in_cup_sit_floor_PR_kh_IMG_5287

web_Jamie_tea_party_lick_finger_sit_floor_PR_kh_IMG_5285

web_Jamie_drink_tea_cup_enrichment_tea_party_sit_top_barrel_FR3_kh_IMG_5307

And Burrito spent the better part of the rainy afternoon grooming his good friend Foxie.

web_Burrito_Foxie_groom_top_platform_GH_kh_IMG_5335

web_Burrito_sit_top_platform_take_break_groom_Foxie_GH_kh_IMG_5336

More ways to help the chimps!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

One of my favorite things about our gala auction (and online auction, too!) is that people who bid on items not only give generously to support the chimps, but they get a nice tangible item too. Win-win! There are many different ways to help support the chimps, from sponsoring a day of sanctuary to becoming a pal to one of the Cle Elum Seven, to participating in our fundraising events, and even just in your everyday shopping!

Awhile back we posted about how Amazon’s program AmazonSmile will donate a portion of sales from everyday things you shop for on Amazon to the sanctuary (read more on how to set that up here). We also have a program set up through Fred Meyer, a northwest one-stop-shop store, and a way to help the sanctuary when buying or selling on eBay through eBay Giving Works. You also can apply for a credit card that helps out the chimps! All win-win deals. Check all those options out on this page.

One new thing we added to that page was our connection with Cars 4 Causes, an organization which takes vehicles, gets them prepped for sale, auctions them off and then gives a chunk of the proceeds to the sanctuary! My family actually recently took advantage of this opportunity and donated our boat that I remember taking camping trips in as a child. It went up for auction and did really well—but unfortunately, the high bidder backed out last minute for financial reasons and so the boat is back up for auction. Seattle-area friends, please spread the word about this auction! And if you or anyone you know is thinking about getting rid of a vehicle, consider donating it to Cars 4 Causes to support CSNW.

Here’s some pictures of the chimps, as a reminder of who you are supporting with all these fun and unique ways to donate:

Annie
web_Annie_look_at_camera_sit_in_door_X_look_out_GH_kh_IMG_5110

Jamie
web_Jamie_in_front_of_bamboo_YH_jb_IMG_4173

Missy
web_Missy_look_at_camera_tall_grass_YH_jb_IMG_4167

Foxie
web_Foxie_sit_doorway_X_hold_dora_doll_container_in_hands_look_out_GH_kh_IMG_5132

Rainy day

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Sometimes on a rainy day, all I want to do is cuddle up with a blanket or two and read a good book or even take a nap. That has not been the case for Jamie today. She has kept herself quite active with the help of volunteer caregiver Becca, despite the rain. She has already walked around Young’s Hill four times in between heavy rain periods. And when it did start raining harder, she took action right away and ran the rest of the way around the hill.

web_Jamie_walk_Youngs_Hill_perimeter_rainy_day_YH_kh_IMG_5153

When she was not walking around Young’s Hill, she was flipping through magazines and inspecting some of her boots. And she even allowed herself some down time to sit quietly.

web_Jamie_sit_on_box_look_at_camera_arms_crossed_FR4_kh_IMG_5102

web_Jamie_good_close_up_face_look_at_camera_raceway_YH_kh_IMG_4488

Chimp mothers

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Yesterday was Negra’s son Noah’s birthday, and Save the Chimps posted a photo of the birthday boy which I shared today on our Facebook page. We’ve shared stories of Noah before (as well as Negra’s daughters Angel (also at Save the Chimps) and Heidi (she’s sadly still in a lab).

A question we almost always get is whether the chimps would recognize their kids should they ever have the chance to. For the kids that are no longer in labs (Negra’s kids Noah and Angel at Save the Chimps, Foxie’s daughter Angie at Save the Chimps, Jody’s kids Andrea, Bart, and Clay at Save the Chimps, Annie’s kids Mariah and Virgil at Save the Chimps and son Tobias at Chimp Haven, and Missy’s kids Josh and Honey B at Wildlife Waystation) that will likely never happen. It’s also not too likely that their kids who are still in labs would ever be reunited with them (Foxie’s kids Kelsey and David, Negra’s daughter Heidi, and Jody’s son Levi) because they are fully grown adults and it would be difficult to integrate them into our existing group.

But if at another sanctuary a mother were reunited with her children, would they recognize each other? My response to this question is usually simply: probably not. As is the case with most lab births, their babies were taken away from them within days (sometimes just hours) so the likelihood that they would recognize their fully grown children is pretty slim. I think of human births where the babies are given for adoption — would they recognize their biological child 20 years later? Probably not… but maybe. There have been stories of chimps being reunited with their mothers after being separated from each other very early on, who showed signs of recognizing each other. So, I guess the answer should be: probably not, but it is possible.

Here’s some recent photos of our chimp mothers:

Annie

web_annie_carry_bamboo_in_mouth_yh_dm_IMG_4408

Foxie

web_Foxie_walk_hold_Dora_doll_enrichment_in_mouth_look_at_camera_YH_ek_IMG_4894

Jody

web_Jody_forage_food_in_mouth_walk_YH_ek_IMG_3469

Missy

web_missy_relaxed_face_pr_dm_IMG_4415

Negra

web_Negra_sit_under_platform_eat_chow_GH_kh_IMG_4522

We are grateful to the sanctuaries who are caring for the Cle Elum Seven’s children, and hope that one day soon Levi, Kelsey, David, Heidi, and the hundreds of other chimps still in labs will find a sanctuary to call home.

Foxie’s eyes

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

We’ve posted before about the chimps’ eyes, especially Jody’s, and how much expression they hold. Foxie definitely has a striking gaze, as you can see in these photos:

web_foxie_close-up_fr4_dm_IMG_4647

web_foxie_portrait_studio_crossed_arms_fr4_dm_IMG_4648

web_foxie_reach_toward_camera_fr4_dm_IMG_4654

Best of today

Monday, October 6th, 2014

There were so many good photos of each of the chimpanzees that I had to share them all on today’s blog. It’s really hard to pick a favorite.

Annie’s beauty is beyond words.
web_Annie_face_lie_on_back_face_catwalk_GH_kh_IMG_4774

web_Annie_look_at_camera_quadrupedal_beauty_GH_ek_IMG_4719

web_Annie_profile_beauty_face_GH_kh_IMG_4741

Missy actually sat still long enough for us to get a few photos.
web_Missy_closeup_face_GH_kh_IMG_4744

web_Missy_eat_chive_sit_platform_GH_kh_IMG_4769

Foxie enjoyed her pears at breakfast. Perhaps they taste better by the mouthful.
web_Foxie_hang_on_cage_eat_pears_in_mouth_hand_GH_ek_IMG_4710

web_Foxie_hang_on_cage_mouthful_pears_GH_ek_IMG_4714

Burrito spent part of the afternoon playing with his wooden blocks and his own arm.
web_Burrito_lie_on_side_wood_block_toy_in_hand_mouth_look_at_camera_GH_kh_IMG_4781

web_Burrito_lie_on_back_catwalk_hand_hold_foot_arm_in_mouth_GH_kh_IMG_4789

Jamie took a moment to pose for the camera before going for a walk on Young’s Hill.
web_Jamie_look_at_camera_quadrupedal_great_photo_GH_ek_IMG_4730

Jody took some time to groom herself and ponder her surroundings.
web_Jody_relaxed_face_lip_sit_on_ground_GH_self_groom_kh_IMG_4790

web_Jody_groom_self_arm_sit_ground_GH_kh_IMG_4806

web_Jody_sit_ground_groom_self_thinker_profile_GH_kh_IMG_4797

Negra in her favorite nesting spot on the catwalk.
web_Negra_in_blanket_nest_eyes_open_covered_body_PR_kh_IMG_4831

web_Negra_in_blanket_nest_catwalk_eyes_closed_sleep_PR_kh_IMG_4830

Watching the sunset

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Jamie has been really enjoying the slightly cooler fall evenings lately and has stayed out late pretty much every day this week! Staff (especially Katelyn and Elizabeth!) have been walking around the hill during these late evenings so much! Jamie normally heads in as the sun goes down, which this time of year is a quarter til 7 o’clock. However on Thursday night, she stayed out long past the sun went down and didn’t come inside until 7:30! Those walks were lit by just the moonlight. Thursday evening Katelyn got this photo from her phone which captured the moon shining down on Jamie.

Last night Jamie came in before it got really dark, but not before she contently watched the sun go down, while holding her current favorite boots.

web_jamie_late_evening_hug_boots_watch_sunset_sit_on_platform_forest_in_background_yh_dm_IMG_3898

web_jamie_late_evening_hug_boots_watch_sunset_sit_on_platform_yh_dm_IMG_3891

web_jamie_late_evening_hug_boots_watch_sunset_sit_on_platform_yh_dm_IMG_3892

web_jamie_late_evening_hug_boots_watch_sunset_sit_on_platform_yh_dm_IMG_3896

web_jamie_late_evening_hug_boots_watch_sunset_sit_on_platform_yh_dm_IMG_3902

Once the sun went behind the hills, she climbed down the platform and carried her boots in with her for the night.

web_jamie_walk_with_boots_yh_dm_IMG_3906

web_jamie_walk_with_boots_yh_dm_IMG_3907

But then she had to steal just one last glance at the sunset.

web_jamie_walk_with_boots_look_back_at_sunset_YH_dm_IMG_3910

Happy Birthday, Alexis!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Carolyn Clarke in celebration of Alexis Jaggers’ birthday! Carolyn wishes to honor Alexis and her interest in primates by giving the chimpanzees a special day as well.

Carolyn, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees and including them in such a compassionate gift!

Alexis, thanks for caring about these amazing beings and we hope you have a wonderful day!!

Burrito is always up for a celebration. As long as it involves food, of course:

web_burrito_portrait_party_cute_eat_chow_gh_ek_IMG_3970