Ever have one of those mornings where you aren’t really sleepy anymore, but you still don’t want to get out of bed?
Archives for October 2012
Up until recently, our advocacy efforts have focused on apes in entertainment and biomedical research. However as part of Eyes on Apes, we want to help advocate for the plight of free-living apes, too. (And we’ll be featuring some guest blogs from free-living researchers in the coming months, too!) I read an article the other day about chimpanzees attacking humans after they encroached on the chimpanzees’ home. Some people were fearing that the chimpanzees were seeking revenge. I don’t necessarily think that is true (though I can never know for sure since I can’t read minds) but I do think that chimpanzees do not belong in a human world. And when humans involve themselves into a chimpanzees’ world, it is a sad story all around. Chimpanzees do not belong in captivity, they belong in Africa. But what has become of their home? Humans have torn down forests to log expensive woods. We have hunted chimpanzees and sold their meat on the black market, and baby chimpanzees have become orphaned. We have slashed and burned forest to make room for farming. We have mined for coltan in the deep rainforest, causing habitat destruction and allowing access for hunters just like the logging industry. Free-living populations are decreasing from all of these issues.
And what can we do? We can be conscious consumers. Don’t buy wood that comes from Africa—in the U.S. that is mostly teak and mahogany. Recycle old cell phones and laptops and anything with an LCD screen (which contains coltan). But what else can we do? Today, you can write a letter to congress asking them to make these issues that you care about a priority.
One day, I hope there will no longer be chimpanzees in captivity. I hope I will be out of a job because that would mean there would be no need for sanctuaries. Sadly, I don’t know that will happen in our lifetimes but I do think someday, people will stop exploiting chimpanzees for a cheap laugh or invasive research. And, I hope that at that same time, there will be thriving populations in Africa where they belong, and that humans will have reduced our impact so much so that chimpanzees can simply be chimpanzees—no humans involved.
Ashley Gardner also sponsored today for the Cle Elum Seven. She says, “I am a vegan and love all animals. I think Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW is a great organization.” Thanks so much, Ashley!
Here’s Annie checking out Negra’s Cabin on Young’s Hill:
Today is sponsored by Audrey Spencer in honor of her husband Jim’s birthday. Jim and Audrey are longtime and devoted supporters of the Cle Elum Seven. It’s hard to think of a major construction project on the sanctuary grounds that Jim hasn’t been involved in, from the enrichment shed to the greenhouse to Young’s Hill to Diana’s new storage shed for fundraising event supplies. Quite literally, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest would not be what it is without Jim.
Happy Birthday, Jim, from Burrito and from all of us!
Today was rainy so it was the perfect time to check out the new cabin! Missy and Annie both climbed around on it for a while, and Jody went inside to take a closer look:
A few moments later, Burrito was inside checking it out:
But then Burrito seemed to gain a little bit more independence and climbed up the treat rock.
This morning, after a few days of being locked out of Young’s Hill for construction, the chimps were able to go back outside and explore their new structure. All of the chimps made a beeline straight to it – all but Negra, that is. Even though it is designed, built, and named for her, we knew that it would take her some time before she was comfortable enough to check it out.
In the meantime the other chimps are more than happy to take advantage of it. Missy, Annie, Jamie, and Jody seem to really like the little platform at the top.
Our thanks go out again to everyone who donated to our 4th Anniversary fundraising drive this summer, including the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and the many individual donors that helped us reach our goal. Because of you, the chimps can now enjoy the hill in almost any weather. Now that construction is complete, we have begun designing the plaque that will adorn the cabin with the names of those who helped make it possible.
Jamie was the last to climb up to the top, but once she did she didn’t seem to want to come back down:
Missy must have climbed up and down at least 10 times:
Burrito just followed the food:
Tracy Headley sponsored yesterday in honor of Bruce Clifton’s birthday. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the sponsorship blog post up in time. So in addition to saying sorry, we’d like to wish Bruce an extra special belated Happy Birthday. We hope you got to enjoy some of your favorite foods, like Missy and Negra:
Thanks so much to you both for your support of the Cle Elum Seven!