Cle Elum is in the middle of a heatwave, and the high temperatures are sapping everyone’s energy (we couldn’t even convince Jamie to walk around Young’s Hill with us, and that’s usually a many-times-a-day activity). I think Burrito speaks for all of us in these photos taken in the greenhouse this afternoon.
Archives for June 2013
As the video at the end of this post says, free-living chimpanzees in Africa sometimes perform rain displays. Jane Goodall and Bill Wallauer (two heros of mine) have witnessed these displays at Gombe National Park in Tanzania. We don’t get a lot of dramatic rainstorms here in Cle Elum, but today was an exception. The storm began with a clap of thunder. Based on what Bill Wallauer has written about the displays he’s witnessed, perhaps the initial thunder is what inspired Burrito’s display today.
It made me happy to watch Burrito’s “dance” and to think about how he is still connected in some ways to his long-lost family of the forest.
It also reminded me of the article that Joseph D’Agnese wrote for Discover Magazine more than a decade ago called An Embarrassment of Chimps. That article helped to connect many chimpanzee and human people. J.B. and I were working at the Fauna Foundation when it was written, and it inspired Keith to build Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.
So, I guess today is about connection – to nature, to those who influence us, and to all the circumstances that bring us together.
This is a blog post full of information! Today is the beginning of a heat wave in our area, and we decided to keep things open longer tonight so the chimps could enjoy the cooling-off period of the evening. Most of the chimpanzees followed their normal routine and went to bed after dinner, but Jamie and Missy took advantage of the extra time on the hill. I just got back from my second evening walk around the hill with Jamie. Missy joined us for the first one.
Hey – did you know that the The Roslyn Olympics are only three weeks away!? If you are within a 3-hour radius of Roslyn, WA, you need to attend this event. It’s a combination of the Troll Olympics and ARRF Animal Rescue‘s Doggie Olympics – it really is fun for the whole family. In fact, it might the highlight of your summer. This year, you could even win a visit to the sanctuary following the games! The video below explains what the Roslyn Games are all about:
I am getting ready for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest booth at Seattle’s PrideFest on Sunday and have been making some special love buttons, so I thought I’d add those to the store too!
Today was sponsored by Margaret Lunnum in honor of her mother, Ellen’s, birthday. Margaret shared the following sentiments for her mother: “I would like to thank my mom, Ellen, who turns 90 today for putting up with me for 66 years. She has been my best listener and advice giver. She counts my four legged and two winged critters as her grandchildren. She also appreciates my interest in and love for the Cle Elum Seven.” Margaret and Ellen, thank you so much for sharing such a special day with the chimpanzees! Have a wonderful day, Ellen!
J.B. has been working pretty hard on building a new platform for watching the chimps on the hill. It’s two stories!
Here’s the view from the new vantage point:
It’s pretty cool to be able to get photos from above the fence around Young’s Hill. Check out the new perspective of Missy on the shaky bridge:
A big step forward for chimpanzees today. The NIH has decided to accept most of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations proposed in January that include the retirement of the vast majority of chimpanzees supported by the federal government. Read the NIH press release here and the full report here.
It is unfortunate that the NIH plans to hold fifty chimpanzees for possible continued research, as recommended by the IOM. We don’t see fifty as a generic number – we know that each of those fifty chimpanzees is an individual who should live out the rest of their life in sanctuary, but, overall, today represents a leap forward for chimpanzees. There will be no immediate breeding within that group of fifty and the NIH will revisit whether they believe it’s necessary to maintain that group in five years. The NIH also did not accept the recommendation to provide 1,000 square of space per chimp for those chimpanzees who do remain in research – the NIH will be gathering more information on that recommendation.
Foxie is usually never without a troll doll or Dora the Explorer doll. But there’s been some occasions where she differs from the usual and pick dolls or enrichment that are entirely different, and sometimes—shockingly—she’s been seen walking around Young’s Hill without any doll along for the ride. As endearing as Foxie’s doll love is, I think it’s really good to see her varying a bit in her choices for enrichment.
Sometimes she picks a troll AND a Dora:
Sometimes it’s something totally different (in this case, a “My Little Pony” pink horse head)
Sometimes we can’t be for sure if she’s carrying one or not… but she sure looks good with that beautiful forest background!
And sometimes she’s interested in enjoying the sunshine with her chimpanzee friends and leaves the dolls to wait for her inside: