A very happy 36th birthday to the one and only Burrito.
Archives for January 2019
Burrito, the one male chimpanzee at the sanctuary, is turning 36 tomorrow!
When describing Burrito, I wouldn’t be able to count how many times I have said his age and then inserted the caveat, “but he acts more like a teenager.”
When he arrived to the sanctuary in 2008 at age 26, even then he was well into adulthood; but his boyishness was apparent. Actually, it was apparent to me when I first met him at Buckshire.
Below are a few of the early photos we took of Burrito. There’s just something absolutely irresistible and, yes, cute, about this guy:
Don’t get me wrong, he is a chimpanzee and behaves accordingly. He has his Tasmanian devil moments (no slight or stereotyping of Tasmanian devils intended).
He still regularly spits on me when I’m operating doors, especially in the morning.
But often immediately afterwards he wants to play a game of chase or tug of war:
Burrito’s je ne sais quoi clearly reaches beyond those who are lucky enough to meet him in person – he has many fans, including official Chimpanzee Pals, out there. Being able to share Burrito’s youthful spirit is one of the very best parts of my job.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share the similar boyish charm of two other male non-humans at CSNW.
A few years ago, J.B. and I adopted a dog from Lady’s Hope Dog Rescue. He had been a stray and spent some time at a couple of different shelters before he caught the attention of Lady’s Hope. He was a handful for a variety of reasons, but he quickly started to remind me of Burrito in that boyish charm sort of way.
I mean, just look at this face:
This is what Wilson wants to be doing most of the time:
Coincidentally, Wilson was diagnosed with heart issues after Burrito’s diagnosis. They take some of the same medication. Thankfully, at this point, neither of them are symptomatic and likely have no idea that they have an illness.
Because J.B. and I occupy the house on the property, Wilson is a part of the sanctuary too. He and (even more likely) his canine companion and savior Abbey can often be seen in their yard by the house, checking in on who’s coming up the driveway and watching all of the goings-on across the property.
And now we have a third young male who lives at the sanctuary. We’re still getting to know Nutmeg, the one steer who is part of our new cattle family. Somehow, he also has this young-at-heart innocence that was immediately apparent and has won us all over.
He also has one of the greatest hairdos of anyone I’ve ever met:
Nutmeg dutifully ambles along after his mom Betsy, adoptive aunt Honey and more feisty cousin Meredith. Being a male born to a cow genetically bred for the dairy industry, he’s a big guy, but I don’t think he realizes his size.
I don’t know how we lucked out with these three or why they all have a similar enchanting youthful demeanor, but I sure am glad I know them.
I’ll end with a look back at a couple of videos that illustrate the easy task of enticing the silliness out of Mr. B.:
A big happy birthday to Burrito tomorrow! May your heart always remain young, and may you, Wilson, and Nutmeg continue to charm anyone who takes the time to get to know you.
Waves of dense fog rolled across the sanctuary all morning.
We’d set out for walks when the fog would break but another wave would quickly overtake us. Jody was not a fan.
Missy wasn’t fazed in the slightest.
When the fog lifted it felt almost like spring. Even Negra came out to bask in the warm sun.
By afternoon the fog was gone and the sun was out to stay. Annie quickly went to work gathering snacks. She has taken a real liking to eating raspberry plants – not the raspberries, mind you, but the plants themselves. Because the ones we transplanted last fall have yet to fully root, she is easily able to take them to go.
When you catch Missy standing still, it’s tempting to think that she might be taking in the scenery or sitting for a moment in quiet contemplation. But no. She is just making sure that everyone is watching when she blasts down the hill at full bore.
Sometimes when I am walking around the hill with the chimps, it feels like someone is watching me. And asking for grain.
This morning there were still patches of snow lingering in shadowy sections of the hill. As the day wore on, they were getting harder and harder to find. By late morning, the only source remaining was at the very top of the hill. Either Annie was the only one who knew this secret or she was the only one willing to hike all that way.
Yes I know, 2018 was sooo 2 days ago, but I wanted to send it one last fond farewell by looking back at some of my favorite sanctuary video moments from the year.
Here’s a really great one that shows some amazing positive reinforcement training progress between Jamie and Diana:
I’d almost forgotten about this delightful Annie/Missy play video:
In 2018 the chimps got a really cool new structure built for them on Young’s Hill:
I really love this video, especially because we were just trying out a new phone stabilizer for filming and it makes the footage look pretty smooth:
Jamieween is always a great party and 2018 was no exception:
2018 also brought 4 new bovine residents to the sanctuary:
December of last year was full of enriching projects for the chimps:
What did I miss? What was your favorite video from 2018?
Today was sponsored for the chimpanzees by Manuela Santacreu in celebration of her birthday! Manuela shared this sweet message:
“Foxie et ses amis heureux et en paix sont mon plus beau cadeau d’anniversaire ! embrassez les (de loin !) de ma part ,et une trés bonne année à toute votre fabuleuse équipe ! (Foxie and her friends happy and at peace are my best birthday present! Kiss them (from afar!) from me, and a very happy New Year to all your fabulous team!)”
Happiest of birthdays to you, Manuela! Thank you so much for sharing your special day with Foxie and her family!
Springtime Foxie throwback:
Annie and Foxie:
Wow, everyone! I am overwhelmed. It’s difficult to find the words to express my gratitude and amazement and joy at the outpouring of support for our very ambitious year-end fundraising campaign. Thankfully, Katelyn found some beautiful words yesterday.
This lofty year-end goal started with a donor who came to us with a big offer and who wanted to encourage others to give.
A few weeks ago it seemed we were very far away from matching that original donor’s $250,000 pledge. And that’s when a second donor contacted us with a $110,000 donation that would get us MUCH closer to that big goal.
There was still quite a ways to go, though. And that’s where so many others played a role. Donations came from as close by as our neighbors up the hill to as far away as Taiwan; from donors under five years old to 85 years old; from donations of $5 to $5,000; from supporters who just learned about the sanctuary to those who have followed the Cle Elum Seven since before their arrival in 2008.
You all made this pipe dream come true. We are grateful and humbled and full of hope.
It’s clear that you want this sanctuary to expand and to bring more chimpanzees HOME, and we will be putting our efforts full-hearted towards that goal in this new year.