Our primary objectives as caregivers in a sanctuary is continuously improving the well being of those in our care and working to make the world a better place for all chimpanzees. We strive to provide what our tagline says: hope. love. home… sanctuary.
It doesn’t take long to realize that all of this just ends up circling back.
The chimpanzees give me hope everyday.
Sometimes the problems the world is facing seem insurmountable. Sometimes I just want to go back to sleep when I open my eyes in the morning and think of the work that lies ahead. But then there are these seven chimpanzees who lived for most of their lives with no reason for hope, yet they didn’t shut down.
Even Negra, who was ripped from her home and her family as a baby and used as a test tube for over three decades – she survived. And she can now lift her head to the sky and allow the rays of the sun to warm her face, or curl up under a blanket and sleep peacefully.
Nothing gives me hope more than seeing the chimpanzees thrive at CSNW.
And then there’s love. After what humans have done to them, these chimpanzees should be angry. It would be completely justified for them to rise up Planet of the Apes style and never trust another human. Yet, surprisingly, they do show affection towards humans.
It’s easy to see that Foxie is happiest when she’s making someone else laugh or smile. She often spots me from a distance and runs over just to have a little playtime.
Burrito too. Just this morning, in between his a.m. displaying, he was stomping his feet and running through the front rooms to get me to play chase.
All the love I try to convey to the Seven just comes right back.
These misfit captive chimpanzees could melt the coldest of hearts.
That brings us to home. The sanctuary provides J.B. and me with a physical home, but, far more significantly, the chimpanzees and the people that they bring into their lives through their sheer force of charm has created a more remarkable sense of home than I’ve ever experienced.
I really just can’t get over how amazing it is to be surrounded by such caring, compassionate, funny, and all-around lovely people that make up the staff, volunteers, and supporters. And that includes a lot of people who I’ve never even met in person. The Seven are really quite good at attracting the best people to be a part of their lives.
Sanctuary. It’s a word that is often misused, but it truly applies to this place. And, as I’ve learned, the spirit of true sanctuary is circular. Thank you for being a part of it.
Jody – taken this afternoon: