Foxie and Dora have had a quiet Sunday so far.
Archives for April 2017
I have the most amazing job in the world. I know so many people who would love to be in my place and help run a sanctuary for chimpanzees. There are stressful times though; a lot of stressful times, if I’m being honest.
But then there are the moments that bring me back to the mission of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and the reason that I’m here, and probably the reason you are reading this.
Today, it was a simple moment.
I was finishing up a walk with Jamie (wearing a mismatched pair of boots, at Jamie’s request).
Burrito, Jody, Foxie, Annie, Missy, and Negra all came outside while Jamie and I walked the perimeter of the outdoor habitat. By the time I came to the end of the walk, everyone but Negra had gone into the green house.
Negra remained sitting by the “cabin” that we named after her, in a field of green, sampling the fresh grass, as content as any chimpanzee I’ve ever seen.
Thank you, Negra, for this reminder today. It’s all about these moments.
Jamie loves to patrol her 2-acre enclosure in the company of her caregivers. But before the walk begins, she has to select the right boot for us to wear.
In chimpanzees, personality and dominance often go hand in hand. The alphas aren’t always the biggest and strongest individuals; they’re often in charge because they want to be in charge. (Despite some of the benefits conferred, not everyone is interested in running for president.)
At CSNW, Annie is the lowest in the hierarchy. She also happens to be a little anxious. It’s impossible to know whether she’s anxious because she’s the lowest in the hierarchy, or whether she’s the lowest in the hierarchy because she’s an anxious individual. (The truth is probably some combination of those options.) Despite being the lowest in the hierarchy, Annie doesn’t have it too bad. She has to wait her turn at meals, and she defers to the more dominant chimps in passing. But she also gets away with a fair amount of sass – probably because the more dominant chimps aren’t threatened by her. She can take food straight out of Negra’s hands – assuming it’s not something Negra cared too much about – and she always lets the other chimps know when they’ve wronged her. As the years go by, we see less and less anxiety and more and more peace and contentment in her eyes.
Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Erin Yuhas in honor of her mom, Maureen! Erin is a long-time supporter and friend of the chimpanzees and we’re happy to be able to celebrate Maureen along with her. Erin shared this lovely message:
“My mom has shared my love of chimps and has visited several sanctuaries with me simply for our love of chimps. For her birthday I would love to bring her to the sanctuary to celebrate her special day in person but this will have to do. I want these sweet seven to help us celebrate my mom’s birthday with us. Thank you all for all you do for these chimps and thank you for the great updates you give us every day.”
Erin, thank you so much for all you do to make a lasting difference for the chimpanzees. What a special thing for you and your mom to be able to share. We’re honored to celebrate with you and you will both definitely be here in spirit.
Maureen, Happy Birthday from all of us here at the sanctuary! We are so happy to celebrate with you and Erin today and hope your day is filled with all the good you help make possible for chimpanzees living out their lives in their sanctuary homes.
Missy and Annie:
Today I thought it would be a good day to see some never before seen photos from a couple months ago. Volunteer caregiver Holly built a delightfully cute snowman in the portrait studio and Jamie took it upon herself to dismantle it:
I am so happy to be sharing information about HOOT! sponsors so everyone can learn the different ways that people have discovered the sanctuary and why they have decided to contribute their financial support to seven chimpanzees living in Cle Elum.
Today is the fourth in a series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.
Today, with so much gratitude, we celebrate the extreme generosity of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products.
The format for this post is a letter from Darwin’s founder Gary Tashjian:
At Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, we’ve built our business around supporting the connection between people and animals. We’ve always been inspired by the quote from Mohandas Gandhi that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
That’s why I was so excited to discover Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest’s booth at the University Street Fair in Seattle a few summers ago. Chimps (and all primates, for that matter) have a special relationship with humans, and the way we have allowed them to be treated is, I believe, inconsistent with our values. I was happy to find an organization here in the Northwest with people who not only felt the way that I did about this issue, but dedicated themselves to doing something about it. I knew that Darwin’s needed to support their efforts in some way.
After visiting the sanctuary and learning that the chimps’ diet consists primarily of fresh vegetables, I realized that Darwin’s had a unique opportunity to help support the sanctuary’s efforts, as we use fresh vegetables in our dog food recipes as well.
We reached out to Charlie’s Produce, who we work with to supply the vegetables that we use for our dog food, and asked them if they could help. Charlie’s was very supportive of our efforts, and together we put together a program that enabled us to provide an array of fresh vegetables to the chimps, at no cost to the Sanctuary.
We are very happy to be able to do our part to help these chimps enjoy a healthy diet, and to live out the rest of their lives in a safe and nurturing environment. Darwin’s is proud to be a supporter of the sanctuary’s efforts.
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
Big thanks to Gary and Darwin’s (and Charlie’s Produce) for the literal ton of produce for the chimps over the years and for being a Chimpanzee Champion Sponsor of HOOT! 2017!
Burrito sends his thanks too!