It’s hard to believe only one year ago Mave, Honey B, and Willy B arrived here from Southern California. When they first arrived, they were in quarantine for 30 days before any volunteer was allowed to meet them, so my first meeting with them was delayed by a month. After meeting them, it’s truly hard for me (personally) to think back during a time where these three amazing beings have not been in my life at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. So much has happened since then. From Willy B triumphantly venturing outside for the first time, to Honey B developing her sense of style, to Mave’s adoring personality. Yes, there have been some rough and tough times since their arrival, but even with the bad, their current life and happiness is all that matters to us.
We all consider ourselves lucky to have even gotten a chance to meet these three, let alone given the opportunity to provide care for them and watch their personalities grow. It’s no wonder why past caregivers from throughout their lives, who have had the incredible luck of caring for them, still speak so highly of them.
To celebrate their one year anniversary here, we decided to throw them a celebration. Or at least tried to throw them a celebration. We tried to close off the front rooms today and individualize each one with each of their favorite things. Honey B had other plans this morning. She wouldn’t allow us to close off the areas we wanted to in order to set things up. But that’s the point of sanctuary. They ultimately get to make that choice. So first we were able to close of Front Room 5, to set up Willy B’s celebration, since I thought they would have to be set up one-by-one.
Then, by some miracle (also known as lunch), Honey B allowed us to close off the other areas for celebration set up. For lunch, they were served some of their favorites including avocados, and coconuts!
With all three of them happily eating in the Mezzanine, we quickly cleaned the other front rooms (and setup Willy B’s again), for their celebrations!
We also set up an enrichment item called “Frisbee Puzzles” for each of them in their room.
You may have noticed Honey B’s rainbow sash. Initially, these were set up in Mave’s celebration area. But when they exited the Mezzanine, these sashes caught Honey B’s eye. She immediately knew what to do with them.
She wore these almost for the remainder of the day, even passing one through to mesh for to me to wear with her.
After they completed their puzzles and got a chance to sort through their old and new enrichment, it was time to relax.
Willy B kept playing with his newest slinky while laying on his blanket. He would stretch it out, and try to catch it with his mouth as it coiled back up.
Mave napped with one of Honey B’s headbands (seemed fair enough since Honey B took her sashes).
And Honey B continued to patrol her enclosures in her “Mayor” sash. She just reminded me of those old time mayors who wore sashes everywhere.
One very special day is done, signalling the start of Honey B, Willy B, and Mave’s second year here at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.
I want to echo Katelyn’s words in yesterday’s blog:
To those who directly cared and advocated for Willy B, Mave and Honey B during their time at Wildlife Waystation, and who continue to care for the chimpanzees still there awaiting their new sanctuary homes, thank you, we think of you every day.”
In all sincerity, thank you to everybody who has been involved in these three’s lives. To their former caregivers to all the wonderful supporters from around the world, thank you! Your love for them fuels our passion to try to provide the best care for them. Here’s to one year down and many more to come!