Each day the Cle Elum Seven continue on their journey to recovery from their former lives in the laboratory. In some ways, it’s hard to believe they’ve been at the sanctuary for over eight years now. Thinking back to the early days and years (and looking at photos from that time), it really hits home how far each of them has come on their own journey. As the days blend together into years, we have witnessed their individual transformations as they break through the shells of their former selves and continue to test the boundaries of what is comfortable to them.
Take Burrito for instance. Even as recent as a few years ago, he really preferred to stay on the ground to forage and explore, unlike Missy, who climbed everything in sight. But more often these days, he can be found climbing and spending time on top of the highest structures scattered throughout Young’s Hill.
Just this morning, he climbed to the top of this structure, walked out on the beam, sat for a minute looking at his surroundings before climbing back down. He’s not quite as graceful a climber as Missy, but he’s getting there.
The chimps’ transformations are only happening because they’ve been given the opportunity to live the rest of their lives in sanctuary. They’ve each been given a chance at a new life, one in which they so much deserve. And it’s only been possible, because a whole world of people (including you), have taken each of them into your hearts. Because of you, Negra now feels comfortable to venture to the top of Young’s Hill to forage, alone. Because of you, Jamie and Foxie have an endless supply of boots and dolls to call their own; Annie feels safe and secure enough to spend time alone enjoying her surroundings. Because of you, Missy can run (let’s face it, it’s more of a full-on sprint), leap, balance and climb to her hearts content. Jody has blankets aplenty to build elaborate nests with. And finally Burrito. You’ve given Burrito the time he needed to feel secure enough to climb to new heights this year. More and more, we’re seeing him on top of the various structures scattered throughout Young’s Hill; something his former self spent very little time doing.