Working at a chimpanzee sanctuary, I never anticipated the number of (human) people I would get to know. I like to say, because I believe it is verifiably true, that the chimpanzees have brought the most amazing people into my life.
No one has ever called me a social butterfly, but even an introvert like me has managed to develop unexpected relationships over the years with those who hold the chimpanzees in the hearts. I can’t help but respect people who love the chimpanzees. Even if I don’t know donors very well, I think about them often.
Because of our sponsor-a-day and personalized/memorial stone fundraising programs, we learn about the people (human and non) in the lives of donors who they love and, often, who they have lost. It’s an intimate view that we wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s something that is special way beyond the dollars that are generated to help care for the chimpanzees.
When donors themselves pass, sometimes we find out because relatives make donations in their honor and sometimes, because we’ve had a personal connection to them at some point, we find out like any friend or acquaintance would – through the heartbreaking announcements that those left behind make in order to inform everyone that someone irreplaceable is gone.
This year we have received far too many of those announcements. I don’t feel it’s the sanctuary’s place to pass along this information outside of the circle of people who are directly connected, but I’m so glad that we have ways to honor them in non-public ways.
To anyone who has lost someone this year, my heart goes out to you. To all of the donors who have passed this year, thank you for being the generous being you were and for spreading your light.
Today was a gorgeous day at the sanctuary. Before the humans arrived, I saw on the remote camera that Willy B and Burrito were sitting in front of a window grooming up on the catwalk of the playroom, silhouetted by the gentle morning light. These guys have been somewhat reserved with each other the last few days. There haven’t been any raucous games of chase or wrestling, like on Wednesday when they first got together, but today they had at least three quiet grooming sessions.
Mave, Honey B, and Negra spent some of the morning relaxing in the greenhouse before I shifted everyone to allow the “Girl Gang” to have some time on Young’s Hill.
J.B. snapped these winning photos.
If you are familiar with our now rather-complicated building, you might wonder how Jamie, Jody, Foxie, Missy, and Annie got onto the hill without disrupting Willy B and Burrito. And the answer is, they did disrupt them. We decided it was time for a little disruption. The girl gang went out through the chute, right past the playroom where Willy B and Burrito were together.
They guys spied on them through the windows and did some (separate) displaying, but overall there wasn’t as much drama as I was anticipating, given that they haven’t seen each other in a while.
It was a good day.