The Cle Elum Seven are lucky to have an army of humans at their disposal who all contribute directly to their well-being. Chimp house volunteers make sure the chimps always have good, healthy food, interesting enrichment, plenty of blankets, and a clean and safe place to live.
A few dedicated volunteers are chosen to continue on to the highest available level of training, and become direct caregivers to the chimpanzees. These are the volunteers who develop personal relationships with the chimps, serve their meals, play and groom with them, and get to know each individual intimately to ensure everyone’s needs are being met.
These volunteer caregivers become such a regular and seamless part of the chimps’ lives that it’s hard for everyone to say goodbye when the time comes. Volunteer Connie has been a constant presence in the chimp house for over six years, but this is her last week as a caregiver to the Cle Elum Seven since she is moving on to new adventures in another state. We haven’t yet figured out a legally sound way to require lifetime service from our volunteers, so we are forced to let her go. 🙂
In all seriousness, we will miss Connie’s smile, energy, and enthusiasm. She has been a wonderful friend to the chimps and humans at CSNW, and will always be a part of the family.
Thank you to Connie and to all of our volunteers for helping these chimps live as happily and freely as possible.