Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Tracy Headley in honor of her chimpanzee pal, Jody, for Jody’s 40th birthday! Jody was born in 1975, we believe in the wild. Although we don’t know Jody’s actual day of birth, we chose Mother’s Day as her honorary birthday in honor of the nine babies that she gave birth to while in biomedical research and was never allowed to raise. You can learn more about Jody’s life before arriving at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest here.
Jody’s (and all of the chimpanzees’) histories are heartbreaking. But despite experiencing the unthinkable trauma of being stolen from her own mother as a child, and subsequently not being allowed the right to raise her own children, Jody’s ability to enjoy each day in her sanctuary home is an inspiration.
Jody is a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman. She is an independent spirit and does exactly as she chooses in each moment, whether spending her time luxuriating in amazing nests, foraging for wild greens on Young’s Hill, or ever increasingly, playing with her chimpanzee family.
Some “Jody-isms” we love: she has a habit of making sure each of the other chimpanzees are accounted for when we are shifting the chimps for cleaning or meals, and she often sits in the doorway letting us know when anyone is still on the way. When all else fails, she will go and collect them. She often carries her elaborate nests from area to area when we shift the chimps (or will come running back for them) and if any blankets happen to drop in the doorway along the way, she is usually willing to come back when we ask and remove them so we can close the door. Usually. And while Jody doesn’t have a lot of need for the humans, there’s nothing better than her greeting us with a “butt bounce” when she’s happy to see us.
Tracy, thank you so much for sponsoring such a special day for such a special chimpanzee woman. Happy Birthday, Jody!! We love you!! And Happy Mother’s Day to mommas of all species!