You probably know that Jamie is a pretty awesome chimpanzee. What you may not know is how, last year, she alerted the humans to a fire that was approaching the sanctuary property. You can read about that here.
It’s fire season again here in the Northwest, and the Jolly Mountain Fire is currently burning in some forested back-country about twelve miles from the sanctuary (the sanctuary is not in danger).
That means that there are many firefighters and disaster responders in the area working hard. For the last ten days, Southwest Incident Management Team #3 was in charge of the all the many things that are part of responding to wildland fires, from community outreach to physical fire containment measures.
Alan Sinclair was leading that team and heard the story of Jamie alerting us to the fire last year. He contacted us and brought out a group of firefighters and Forest Service workers to learn more about the story and to assess the firewise measures and fire preparedness at the sanctuary.
Then, they decided to do something amazing.
They made Jamie an honorary wildland firefighter! They created and gave her a certificate:
a photo collage:
AND an official pair of wildland firefighter boots (thanks for the boots, Sharma!)!!!
Michael Thompson (who, incidentally, won over Negra big time) put together this video to tell the story:
We are all so touched that the crew chose to recognize Jamie in this way. I was thinking about how fitting this really is for Jamie to have this honor. I don’t think I have to explain how much firefighters mean to us after our experience with the Taylor Bridge Fire. That first hand experience has made us much more aware of the work that they do all over the world.
Firefighters and first responders of all kinds risk their lives to protect others. They are the ones who go towards danger rather than running away from it.
For whatever reason, this is what Jamie does too (just check out this video of her capturing a snake last week). Jamie is not the most affectionate or nurturing chimpanzee of the group of seven at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, but she is a protector, and her chimpanzee and human family are lucky to have someone so brave among us.
Thank you, Jamie, and a big thank you to all firefighters out there! Please share this post and/or the video as a thank you to those who go towards danger to protect others around them.