Missy is chimpanzee-oriented, meaning she often chooses to groom or play chase with her chimpanzee friends over the humans (but we love that!) Every once in awhile she engages in fairly rambunctious chase or tug-o-war and will even quietly groom with caregivers on occasion. Times with Missy are a special treat for all of us! Today was no exception. She and Joel played a pretty fun game of chase. It seemed like Missy turned it into a sort of zumba-like exercise. Be sure to watch all the way to the end!
Archives for February 2015
Looking for adventure
Missy was stuck in high gear today.
She tried joining Jamie on her walks but the walks were too slow, so she ran.
Eventually she gave up on Jamie altogether and just starting running around the hill by herself in the rain.
When the sun came out, all of the other chimps emerged from the greenhouse to spend time on the hill. She tried enticing Foxie to play by stealing one of her dolls, but Foxie wasn’t rambunctious enough.
She tried getting Jody to chase her, but Jody couldn’t keep up.
Missy is like an electron, orbiting around the other chimps as if they were standing still. But once and a while, she comes to a stop and starts looking around…
…looking for something that will give her an adrenaline fix.
And when she finds it, she can hardly contain her excitement.
Look at that smile on her face.
In remembrance of Pat Trotta
This day of sanctuary was also sponsored in remembrance of Pat Trotta by a wonderful friend of the Cle Elum Seven, Wanda Trotta, and her family:
“A day in remembrance of Pat Trotta who when we visited the “7” a couple of years ago was also taken by them. He, like Jamie, was a leader – in his field of optics. He leaves an enormous hole in our lives but fills our hearts with a 1/0 of love. Enjoy being whole again, Pat and we’ll see you soon.
We love you 1/0, The Trottas”
We’re so glad that the chimps touched your lives, and honored that you chose to remember Pat in this way. In memory of Pat, here’s Jamie, as she so often does, leading her family on a walk around Young’s Hill:
In memory of Lois Young
Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored in memory of Lois Young by her family. Lois is the grandmother of staff caregiver, Debbie, and she passed away last month at the age of 94. Lois’s family kindly requested that donations be made to local organizations, to include Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, in her memory and they shared this message about her fascinating life:
“Lois Young was a descendant of one of Kittitas Valley’s pioneer families and was a nearly lifelong resident of the area. She had a tenacious spirit and accomplished many things in her life, including attending college as a woman during the Great Depression and graduating with a degree in chemistry. She loved to travel, and despite the fact that she lived with muscle paralysis since the 1970s, she still managed to visit all 50 states as well as Canada and Mexico. She was an active volunteer in several projects in the community, including the historical museum and the public library.
Lois was always an animal lover and her compassion was passed through the generations to her granddaughter, Debbie. She was always very proud of the work Debbie is involved in and had pictures of the chimps on her wall.”
Debbie serving Missy and Jamie oranges:
Debbie’s boss, Jamie:
To the Young-Ness, Metzler, and Moncrief families, we are so touched that you would include the chimpanzees in honoring Lois’s extraordinary life. We send you all our deepest sympathy for your loss and wish you comfort and peace as you celebrate your wonderful memories of her.
The Blanket Fling
A complicated relationship
Foxie has a complicated relationship with her dolls. As most of you know, Foxie is rarely without one (or two or three). It can be very emotionally appealing to see Foxie exhibit maternal behaviors with her Doras and trolls, particularly when you learn of the five babies she had stolen from her while in the lab, as Debbie shared yesterday. There is no doubt that Foxie receives comfort from her dolls, but at times she also seemingly uses them to express her frustration.
As much as we see her kiss them, carry them on her back as a mother chimpanzee would do with her children, or become distressed when they are out of her reach, we also see her spend significant amounts of time giving them a good wallop. Foxie is very intense during these times and typically uses a tool to rapidly and repeatedly strike against the dolls. It’s very loud and many of the tools she uses get broken as a result. When she is engaging in this behavior she is very focused and isn’t often interested in much else that may be going on around her.
Notice the toy screwdriver in her left hand and the intense look on her face:
Foxie often remains serious and a bit distant for some time after these stormy displays:
But then the clouds pass and you see the “Foxie light” return in her eyes. While this is really outside the realm of what we have learned about chimpanzee behavior, we could be tempted to try and psychoanalyze her behavior to death. But in reality we really don’t know what’s going on in Foxie’s mind. This is just Foxie. Like each of the chimpanzees, she is an incredibly strong, intelligent, resilient and courageous person and this is how she sometimes chooses to express herself. We love and accept her for exactly who she is, every minute of every day. And that’s all we need to know.
Foxie on a troll stroll
Foxie takes her dolls with her almost everywhere. She holds them during meal times, she plays with them (both on her own and with friends), and she rests with them. She even takes them on brief outings onto Young’s Hill. A lot of times she carries them on her back like a mother chimp would carry their infant around, but sometimes she is able to manage with them in her hand or mouth as she walks. In the last photo, you’ll see she’s rubbing the troll’s belly as they head back into the greenhouse.
Though it can seem endearing how Foxie loves her dolls, it’s also a sad reminder that Foxie was never able to keep a baby of her own.
Foxie was used as a breeder in the lab. When she was just 10 years old, she gave birth to twins, David and Steve. Steve is deceased, but David is currently living at Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. Foxie had two other babies, Angie (who now thankfully lives at Save the Chimps in Florida) and Kelsey (who lives at APF like David).
Though we can never make up for all that Foxie has lost, we are so glad that in sanctuary she has found a great deal of happiness and companionship in her dolls.