Jamie knows that the best way to get Foxie’s attention is to get between her and one of her beloved dolls.
Archives for November 2014
This morning, as usual and despite the cold temps, Jamie was eager to take a walk. I got a boot and proceeded to walk up the hill to meet her (me on the other side of the fence, of course). At first I couldn’t find her, then I spotted her on one of the climbing structures. She was too distracted by her task to take the walk, so I went back and grabbed the camera instead.
I’m trying something new here and embedding a video posted on Facebook. Let me know what you think!
All week we’ve been giving thanks for the people and organizations that make this sanctuary possible. Yesterday, it was all about the chimps. Which means that here at the sanctuary, it was all about the food.
You know who likes food?
He somehow managed to hold six baked apples in his hands while he vacuumed up everything else with his mouth.
I’ve never seen him concentrate this hard on anything before.
Burrito wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the Thanksgiving party. You’ll have to watch the video at the end of this post to see what Negra had to do to get this treat bag. All I can say is that it was very un-Negra like. But as you can see from her expression, it was well worth the effort.
Foxie was joined by this little black-haired troll during the forage.
After lunch, they went for a stroll on the hill together (if you don’t see the troll, look closely for some hair that seems out of place).
There was no Thanksgiving food coma for Missy. Once the sun came out, she hit the hill to get some exercise.
Many thanks to Patti, Sandra, and Katie for volunteering to help the chimps on the holiday, and to Patti and Denice for preparing the feast. As you’ll see, it was quite a hit:
We are the sum of all of our parts. For the past six days we have been sharing our gratitude for all of the amazing humans and organizations who give their support to the sanctuary in a myriad of ways. Each and every person we’ve mentioned, and I am sure so many more who we may never be aware of, has made the sanctuary and the lives of the chimpanzees what they are today. And for that we could not be more thankful.
On this seventh day of giving thanks, we want to share our gratitude for the heart and soul of the sanctuary and all that we do, the chimpanzees themselves. Words could never fully express the respect, admiration and love we have for Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra. We are thankful for the unique personalities that each of the chimpanzees share with us. The joy and laughter they bring to our lives and for making us smile every single day. We are thankful for the gift and privilege of their friendship and all that they teach us about forgiveness, strength, courage, healing and choosing to live each moment to the fullest. For being themselves, always, and allowing us into their world so that we can share that with others in the hope of helping other chimpanzees and primates. And honestly, I suspect I speak for all the caregivers when I say we are even thankful for the flinging of feces and spitting of saliva. How could that be possible? Because it’s one more moment that they get to express themselves just as they are knowing they will be respected, cared for and loved just the same.
We are profoundly thankful for each of the chimpanzees’ indomitable spirits and their ability to heal, forgive, and allow humans into their lives, in spite of what our species has done to them. Not because this makes us feel better or because it justifies in any way what they have experienced, but because it allows them some sense of peace and comfort and to experience life more on their terms, as it always should have been for them.
We are thankful for beautiful Annie’s sweet, gentle spirit and her new found ability to stand up for herself and her friends when it really matters to her. For her growing independence, courage and comfort in her own skin and the sense of freedom we hope this brings her after so much anxiety and fear. And for “Annie-bird” noises as she whistles into her hands and clapping her feet together which mean she’s relaxed and happy, raspberries and foot stomping when she gives us the gift of her attention, and to bear witness to the amazing friendship she has with her best friend, Missy.
We are thankful for Burrito and the heartwarming charm he so willingly shares with us just by being himself. For his place in a family of chimpanzee women who love him despite his boisterous displays and lack of appropriate chimpanzee etiquette and provide him a safe place in which he can figure out what it means to be the only guy among six ladies. And for the sound of his food squeaks echoing throughout the chimp house at meal time, for play faces, play stomps, play bows, and blanket tosses when he is feeling particularly playful.
We are thankful for Foxie and the sheer joyful exuberance she greets each day with. For the innate sensitivity she shows toward her fellow primates, human and non, and her ability to make all of us (even Jamie) feel better just by being herself. For the growing courage she finds to explore Young’s Hill in awe and for her ability to trust us when sharing her “babies” with us, knowing she will never have anything she loves taken from her again. And for back flips, pirouettes, kisses given while hanging upside down, the willingness to gaze into our eyes, her toes (!) and the toe tickling that comes with those toes.
We are thankful for Jamie and her astounding intelligence, willpower, and creativity. For the opportunity she finally has to call the shots and be loved and respected exactly as she is in each minute of the day. For walks around Young’s Hill and for the immense honor it is to accompany her on her perimeter walks and be included as part of her troop. And for “upside-down-Jamie-on-a-barrel” because it means she is happy, do-it-yourself Jamie who takes charge of her home, that she now feels safe enough to take naps and actually close her eyes and rest, and happy groans of pure joy when she receives a new pair of boots.
We are thankful for Jody and what she teaches us about the value of comfort, relaxation and taking care of oneself. For her ability to now spend each minute choosing exactly what feels best for her. For the sheer joy she receives from foraging for every wild plant she can find on Young’s Hill, for the way she “holds the door” and gathers everyone up until she makes sure all the chimpanzees have come in for meals, for her “dinosaur” groans when she is particularly happy about something she’s eating, for “happy baby” poses while lounging in her nest, for sometimes poking us when she’s feeling saucy, and for her earnest gazes and endearing “butt-bounces” when greeting us.
We are thankful for Missy and the fact that she finally has the choice to run to her heart’s content in every direction she can on Young’s Hill, laughing as she passes you by. For the athletic prowess which brings her so much joy after so many years living in a small cage with no room for her spirit to move. For her ability to wake up each day with so much joy that she and her best friend, Annie, play chase, wrestle and laugh like crazy before they are even fully awake. And for the leaping, spinning, swinging, jumping, and climbing. And for the way she gets us to “chase” her to the garden to ask for summertime tomatoes.
And we are thankful for Queen Negra and her ability to find joy and a position of respect in the companionship of her chimpanzee and human friends after years of solitude and depression. For the absolute pleasure she receives from the simple things in life like a nest made of sometimes over 30 blankets, the sun on her face, and days spent nesting peacefully by her window as she watches the valley below. And for hand claps when the servers are too slow, straw thrown in our faces when she really wants to get her point across, head nods of approval when we dance for her, the absolute joy she receives from night bags and for nuts and seeds on her belly as she enjoys those nightbags.
On this Thanksgiving Day and always, we are ever grateful to all of you who provide hope, love, home and sanctuary to these seven chimpanzee people. We couldn’t possibly hold more love in our hearts for them and to know they are safe, loved, respected, and able to finally make choices in their lives is the best gift we could ask for. Please know that you all, in whatever form your support is given, make a difference in their lives. From all of us at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
The chimpanzees’ Thanksgiving Day celebration is getting under way now so be sure to tune in tomorrow to check out the fun!!
This week we’ve expressed our gratitude for everyone who plays a part in helping Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest fulfill its mission. Staff, board members, and volunteers are integral people who dedicate so much of their lives to helping the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees. In-kind donations of services and goods help us stretch every dollar we can, and grants and foundations help us complete big projects. But you—our donors—are literally the heartbeat that keeps the sanctuary pumping.
Donations have forever changed the lives of the Cle Elum Seven with projects like Young’s Hill and the on-site mobile veterinary clinic. Not only do donations contribute to big projects, but they keep the sanctuary going day-to-day. As JB wrote about last week, staff members are devoted, long-term friends and caregivers of the Cle Elum Seven, and they keep the outreach and volunteer programs going as well as working on development and operations. Your donations bring our hard-working team together to make CSNW the best possible home for the Cle Elum Seven and an all-around amazing organization.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, we want to take a minute to reflect on how far we have come with your help, and how your role will take us so much further. We simply cannot ever express with enough gratitude how appreciative we are for every dollar that is given, and every minute someone spends telling their friends and family about why they support Annie, Negra, Jody, Jamie, Burrito, Foxie, and Missy.
It’s hard to put into words the impact that all our donors have had on the lives of seven very special beings. Perhaps words can never truly express the importance you’ve all had in their lives, but maybe these “before and after” pictures can illustrate that effect.
The outpouring of support during the last six and a half years is evidence that our donors really do have the biggest hearts, and it is because of you that the Cle Elum Seven finally have a second chance at life.
Your donations have given Burrito hope.
You’ve given Foxie love.
You’ve given Missy a home.
You’ve given these chimpanzees the sanctuary they so deserve—and for that, we thank you!
This thanking business is so much fun!
Today we are sending loud, boisterous chimpanzee-style pant hoot thanks to all of the foundations and organizations who have supported the sanctuary with grants.
The sanctuary does not receive any government support. While the majority of cash donations to the sanctuary come from individuals, we have also been fortunate to have received private grants from some really incredible organizations and foundations.
Sometimes these grants are for specific projects, such as the National Anti-Vivisection Society grant earlier this year that helped pay for the back-up generator for the chimp house (along with a donation from the Youngs), the ASPCA grant that paid for the wildfire sprinkler system, and a Yakama Cares grant that paid for essentials (namely the rental of the port-o-potty!) for our Summer Visitor program.
Often, grants are for general operating expenses. It’s difficult to express how affirming it is to receive grants, knowing that the granting organization has a limited amount of funds to distribute. Receiving grants for general operating funds can be particularly affirming because the grantor acknowledges the importance of the day to day care of the chimpanzees and the costs involved in operating the sanctuary.
Grants, just like donations from individuals, impart a responsibility on us to use the gift effectively and in partnership with the grantor.
We are very proud to have received, in the last year and a half, tens of thousands of dollars towards general operating funds from the American Anti-Vivisection Society, the Summerlee Foundation, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, the Tony Stewart Foundation, and grants from two foundations that are in the process of closing down. Earlier this year we were also incredibly excited to receive a grant from Bob Barker’s DJ&T Foundation.
All of these granting organizations support other amazing nonprofits, and we are so thrilled to be a part of their good works.
Just like individual donations, the chimpanzees have truly benefited from these gifts. It is difficult to imagine their lives of desperation before coming to the sanctuary, and there are not thanks enough in the world to express to those who have not only helped get the chimpanzees out of that situation, but who continue to support their new leases on life that allow them to be…
goofy like Burrito
relaxed like Jody:
and serene like Annie:
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW) could not do what it does without the generous support of such compassionate, caring and generous people. We cannot express enough how much we value and thank all those who are part of this sanctuary family. (Read more in the first, second and third days of giving thanks).
In the spirit of continuing to give thanks, I’d like to take this time to recognize all the folks who have made in-kind donations to benefit the chimpanzees and the sanctuary over the past six and a half years. In-kind donations are the direct donation of needed goods and services. They are vital to providing a safe, healthy and enriching environment for all the primates at CSNW.
Throughout the years, many folks have graciously donated their professional architectural and construction services to help transform the sanctuary into what it is today.
I also want to give a pant hoot thanks to those who have donated their professional graphic design and videography services and to all of those who have given items and gift certificates for auctions. These donations have been a tremendous help with our fundraising efforts and have helped share the stories of Jamie, Jody, Foxie, Negra, Burrito, Missy and Annie with the rest of the world.
Of course, the health of the chimpanzees is always top priority. I would also like to offer a huge thank you to those who have most kindly donated their veterinary services and equipment over the years to ensure the health of the Cle Elum 7.
Fresh fruit and vegetables is also of utmost importance in keeping the chimps healthy (and enriched). I want to be sure to thank those who have regularly gone above and beyond to ensure that the chimps have healthy food to eat each day.
Another huge thank you goes out to all those who have purchased items from our Amazon Wish List. While many of the items, such as laundry detergent, garbage bags, gloves, soap, stamps, and printer toner may not seem at all “glamorous,” they are essential to the day-to-day operations of the sanctuary. They help us keep our expenses down by providing things we need to operate and they help staff and volunteers do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
We also include extra special gifts on our wish list like toys, puzzles, dolls, socks, non-toxic art supplies, brushes, etc., all aimed to enhance and enrich the daily lives of the chimpanzees. We regularly receive enrichment packages from people near and far. Items like kongs and tool sets have provided hours of problem solving for Jamie; while troll and dora dolls have helped Foxie gain confidence over the years.
And then there are the countless donations from those who know how to throw a party to celebrate all the holidays, birthdays or just-because days. What’s a party without festive cups, plates, piñatas or streamers? We also receive numerous donations that follow our enrichment guidelines including cowboy boots, blankets, magazines, paper, etc.
Sometimes the words “thank you” just don’t seem to capture the immense gratitude we feel for all those who have offered these in-kind donations over the years. Know that your generosity has affected each and every primate (human and non-human) at the sanctuary in such a deep and meaningful way and will continue to transform the lives of Jamie, Jody, Negra, Foxie, Burrito, Missy and Annie. Without each and every single one of you, the sanctuary would not be what it is today.