First – there’s still time to shop until your heart’s content at many fabulous businesses that are giving 10% of their proceeds to the Sanctuary Century 100-mile charity bike ride in Portland that will benefit Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Hope Animal Sanctuary and Out to Pasture Sanctuary. Lots of the participating businesses are online, so there’s no excuse not to blow some money on chocolate, vegan food-stuffs, clothes, jewelry and more. If you’re on Facebook, go to the Sanctuary Century 10% Fundraiser Day event page and hit “more” to see the list of participating businesses. If you’re not on Facebook, you can see a not-quite-complete list of businesses on this announcement from Herbivore Clothing Company. You can also just make a straight-up donation here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/TheSanctuaryCentury/thesanctuarycentury2012
Now that you’ve shopped or are getting ready to shop or donate, below are some precious photos from today of J.B. interacting with Negra. It’s a very special occurrence to have these tender moments with Negra because she is the least interactive with her caregivers and often does not like to be touched.
We respect Negra’s wishes and only touch her when she asks to be groomed, which the chimpanzees do by pushing their bodies against the caging. We are big fans of safety at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, and we only do physical interactions with the chimps that do not put ourselves in a position to be bitten or grabbed, so that means that our fingers (or anything else attached to us, for that matter) never enter the fencing when the chimps have access to the other side.
Negra was really enjoying this attention from J.B., as you’ll see from the three photos below. The chimps know the rules as well as we do, so they know what to expect when a human (only trained caregivers!) touches them, and they choose which parts of their body to present. They have each other for the big hugs and intense grooming sessions that help keep them a cohesive group of chimpanzees – they don’t rely on or need us for that.
We’ve mentioned “getting kisses” from the chimps before. You can see what we mean by this in these two photos. You’ll notice that the only parts of J.B.’s body that he is letting Negra kiss are his elbow and the the back of his hand, and Negra sticks her lips out of the fencing in order to touch J.B., making things safe. This also allows Negra to invite J.B. to be kissed by putting her lips outside of the fencing, so we know when she’s looking for that kind of interaction and when she isn’t. Negra was giving J.B. some pretty long kisses today. Eventually, I felt like I might be intruding on a personal moment between them, so I decided to take the camera and let them have their privacy.