Over the weekend Jackie and Burrito had a pretty epic play session. The whole video was over 10 minutes long, so I did my best to find the highlights. It started out as a goofy tug-o-war game until Burrito put the scarf around his back and then it became a massage session. I think he looks pretty happy:
Archives for February 2013
It’s my sad duty to share that the chimps (and humans) of CSNW lost a very dear and devoted friend earlier this month. Marcia Douthwaite touched us all with her sweet blog comments, notes, and sponsored days for the chimps (like one in memory of her dear son, and others here and here). I know that it was a lifelong dream fulfilled when she had the special opportunity a few years ago to come out to the sanctuary. I so treasured the opportunity to meet her as well. Before she passed, she generously shared her primate-related books with us, so we created a small lending library in our office in her honor.
I’m honored to help Marcia’s memory live on through this lovely library, and through our wonderful memories of her love for chimps and other primates everywhere.
Today, Jody was caught lounging in the cabin on the hill. It’s great to see her so comfortable in there! We may have built it with Negra in mind (and nothing made me happier than seeing her in it a couple weeks ago!), but I suspect that with some more warmth, extra sunshine, straw, and a few extra blankets (or maybe a few 100 extra blankets), we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jody nesting in the cabin over the next few months!
CR Fashion Book has a new issue set to hit stands on Thursday with a big spread featuring Bently, an infant chimpanzee. Bently is owned by Mike Casey, who you might remember was put in front of county commissioners in Las Vegas because he lacked a permit to house his chimpanzees. He has a record of abusing his chimps, punching them, hitting them with a rod, and throwing hot water in their face. Casey also was responsible for breeding Travis, who as an adult escaped and mauled a Connecticut woman in 2009.
In their post about Bently’s upcoming appearance, CR Fashion Book also boasts that Bently’s brother Kenzy was the star of the Speed Racer movie, which actually got an unacceptable rating from the American Humane Association due on-set abuse.
Bently, Kenzy, and others like them deserve to be in a sanctuary where they can receive lifetime quality care. By featuring Bently in their magazine alongside humans, CR Fashion Book is perpetuating the pubic misunderstanding of chimpanzee nature.
Please send a polite letter to CR Fashion Book and ask them to remove the spread from the issue before sending it to stands on Thursday, and ask them to pledge to never use primates in future publications. Your letters make a difference – just earlier this year, Great Clips pulled a commercial featuring a young chimpanzee after they heard from concerned advocates like you.
You may send your letter to the editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also submit your comments to their Facebook page, or comment on this picture they posted from “behind-the-scenes” of the shoot.
Sample Brief Facebook Comment:
Bently the young chimpanzee should not be used in this way. His trainer has a history of abuse! Chimpanzees bred for the pet and entertainment industry eventually become big and strong and it is within their nature to be aggressive. Bently and other chimpanzees simply do not belong with humans, and your magazine spread is suggesting otherwise. Please remove the spread and pledge to never use primates in future publications!
Sample Letter to the Editor-in-Chief:
Dear Ms. Roitfeld:
I was shocked and disappointed to hear that CR Fashion Book is planning to feature Bently, a young chimpanzee. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed. Bently’s trainer has a history of abuse.
Featuring Bently alongside humans sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.
Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee spread from your magazine, and consider making a pledge to never use primates in future publications. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
[Your name here]
[Your city & state]
If you send a e-mail to CR Fashion Book, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!
Someone working on a school project asked me recently about my favorite part of working with chimpanzees. There are certainly endless rewards, and I could write a novel about them all. But I think the most rewarding thing in the world is being a part of helping the Cle Elum Seven get better. They’re stronger, healthier, more robust, and more confident (by far!) than they were when they arrived here almost 5 years ago. Though everyone has changed, I think Negra’s changes really touch us all. Just looking into her eyes, and knowing her stories (like spending a full year in total isolation at the notorious and now defunct Coulston Foundation)… Well, I will just let the pictures speak to that volume of emotion.
Everyone who reads this blog and helps us spread the word is a part of helping Negra make this incredible transformation. Thank you!
Here is Negra in a lab cage:
And here she is on Young’s Hill:
What a difference a few years, a bunch of choices, good food, and people who love you can make.
If you are on our Facebook page, you probably saw that the chimps received a love letter on Friday from my 11-year-old neighbor, Tiffany. It truly made my day! Tiffany is a very special kid and the comments on my Facebook post just made it all the more special – “Sounds like a future Jane Goodall”, “Our children are our future”, “Children are the hope for non-human animals” – I am just thrilled that the Cle Elum Seven have inspired yet another future animal advocate! The chimps are lucky to have you in their corner.
And with a face like Burrito’s, it’s easy to see how he could inspire:
Jamie and Burrito have a complicated relationship. Burrito is the man of the group, but Jamie is the boss. She often treats him like an annoying little brother. Sometimes she takes his food.
Early on, I’d say for the first year the Cle Elum Seven were at the sanctuary, Jamie would use Burrito during fights – I like to describe this and Jamie using Burrito as a henchman – Burrito would be all worked up and displaying, intimidating everyone, and Jamie would follow him as though she was saying to the rest of the group, “better watch out, he’s under my control.” But Burrito has wised up since then and tends to stay out of the fray more these days.
Though Jamie and Burrito do groom each other, they don’t really play together, and I wouldn’t describe them as friends (“frenemies” might be an appropriate term to use). This seems very personal to bring up, but we do get asked about it a lot, so here goes – I did see Burrito and Jamie in an intimate encounter once. Only once. And it was a long time ago. In fact, it is one of the only times we’ve seen that type of encounter between the chimps. It could be that Burrito just doesn’t see the ladies that way, or it could be that, like many captive chimpanzees, he is not sure what to do.
This fall, much to our surprise, these two frenemies would sometimes patrol the perimeter of Young’s Hill together (as seen at the end of this video). Maybe their relationship is evolving.
Today the sun was streaming into the windows upstairs and all seven chimps were on the catwalk. Burrito and Jamie sat next to each other: