There are very few jobs that provide as much fulfillment as working for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. It’s not a stress-free occupation, and there are some heavy issues that we deal with every day, but watching the chimpanzees settle into themselves and their lives at the sanctuary is the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. For me, a lot of that reward and the motivation to get through the stress comes from Negra.
It’s too simple to just say that I love her. I am devoted to her. Each new step she takes fills my heart even more. I mentioned this in my reflections for our 3rd Anniversary blog post, which is fun to read and hard to believe that was almost two years ago! I hope that Negra will be with us for many more years, but you never know what the future will bring. Each moment with her, and with all of the chimpanzees, is precious.
This morning was no exception. Volunteer Connie put out some lettuce on Young’s Hill and served the rest of breakfast in the greenhouse. Once Negra discovered the lettuce (one of her favorite foods) outside, she sat herself down in her cabin and enjoyed the warmth and comfort of the cabin that we named for her while all of the other chimpanzees were in the greenhouse. I didn’t want to get too close with the camera because Negra is at times weary of people taking photos when she’s on the hill, but I did take a few photos from a distance. I hope the photos make you as happy as seeing her out there made me.