Even the boss has to kick back sometimes:
Archives for May 2011
Fights are really common among chimpanzees. Being a caregiver you get used to the intense screaming, which often occurs even during fights with no contact between participants. You also know by the sounds when things have escalated. There was a conflict about a week ago which resulted in some minor bite wounds between Foxie and Burrito. After a brief squabble this afternoon, this pair spent a lot of time grooming each other.
The wounds were the initial focus of the grooming – chimps will closely inspect injuries on themselves and each other and clean them up by removing debris. So, grooming is good for their physical health. It’s also important for the social health of the group. The act of grooming is the chimpanzee way of healing and strengthening bonds. (For more on fighting and making up, see also J.B.’s post Conflict and Reassurance with amazing photos of a reassurance hug between Burrito and Foxie from May 4th).
Foxie grooming Burrito
sometimes grooming turns into playing – another great way to strengthen social bonds
Keith‘s daughter, Gabriela, is turning 17 today! I can hardly believe it!! Keith is the founder of CSNW, so I’ve known Gabby since 2003 when I first moved to Washington and started working with the chimps at Central Washington University. She’s a beautiful girl (woman!?) with a silly spirit and always has a smile on her face (and if there’s not one, I can make it happen :). I love her and her brother Teddy so much, and think of all of the LaChappelle family as part of my west coast family. So, the happiest of birthdays to you, Gabby! Hope you come visit your friends in Cle Elum soon!
Here’s a photo of one of my favorite moments with Gabby’s favorite chimp, Foxie:
I never really know what I’m in for when I arrive at the sanctuary in the mornings. Sometimes the chimps are all grumpy– maybe they had a fight the night before or just don’t feel like getting out of bed– and sometimes they are playful goofs. Othertimes, it’s a mixture of both. When I arrived the other day, I was happy to start the day off by witnessing this:
There are still 104 posts on Young’s Hill available for “adoption.”
I know everyone who follows the blog wants to be a part of Young’s Hill and this is your chance! For just $50 you’ll get an engraved plaque with your name, a dedication or message of your choice on your fence post.
Check out the plaques so far on our 3rd Anniversary Fundraising page.
We’ve been making a lot of progress on the hill habitat construction thanks to volunteers. J.B. would love to hear from you if you want to know more about volunteering. Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a few photos taken by volunteers Audrey Spencer and Lynn Williamson who braved the wet and cold weather last Saturday to help make the dream of Young’s Hill a reality:
Audrey making sure the fence post is level (this could be your post!) while Jim and Lucas work in the background:
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest founder Keith holds a post steady as volunteers Lynn and Jim fill the hole:
The weather got progressively worse as the day went on. We have some dedicated volunteers! Here’s J.B. on the tractor with Keith, Lucas, Jim and Andy adding more fill to a fence post hole.
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped with this project!
It was a rainy gloomy day today so I put a video on for the chimps to watch. Foxie, Negra, Annie, and Burrito were all watching at one point or another. I noticed that Foxie was “nesting” with her trolls so I thought I’d grab a few blankets to see if she wanted them. She took about 10 (which is rare for Foxie!). I didn’t catch it, but she sat in the nest and watched TV for a few minutes. When I came back with the camera she was sitting beside it (see below – still watching TV). It was a nice big cozy nest!