The blog often shows the highlights of each day, but we don’t always show the less-glamorous aspects of our jobs. As caregivers, most of our work day is actually spent cleaning, securing, and maintaining the spaces that the chimpanzees live in.
Just confirming that an area is safe for humans to enter is a chore in itself, and then each enclosure requires daily attention so that the chimps can be healthy, comfortable, and entertained. On top of that, there are always dishes to scrub, toys to wash, puzzles to prepare, and paperwork to organize.
This evening, I chose to demonstrate our standard procedures for cleaning and sanitizing a chimpanzee enclosure so that you can all partake in the fun!
Christine Hines says
Love this! Thank you for sharing. It must feel satisfying to get it all done and see the clean, disinfected result.
It’s very touching to see the tender care you take of the chimps. Thank you!
Linda C says
The new wing is always so sparkly!
How long before it’s messed up again, lol? One meal?
The last cleaning video showed a team of several people, and sped things up, whereas this one really gives somewhat of an understanding of the amount of time spent cleaning one small room.
And all of those fire hoses you hung….!
You’ve earned your cabinet!
It outshines the original wing of enclosures, but those have had chimps living in them for twelve years!
The enclosure took about 45 minutes to clean (not counting the time spent moving the camera around). Cramming it into a relatively short video was difficult.
And yes, I am proud of the firehose vines up there, but they can be a nuisance while cleaning!
Linda C says
where you said “sweep up debris”, did you have to resist saying “but not your cameraman”? 🙂
Elaine Reininger says
Great [post, Anthony. I’m tired just watching you. Come on over to my house and do that here.
Hopefully you don’t have any chimps to clean up after! I’ll stop by and check all the locks on all the doors, though.
Ellen Vasu says
Amazing! Thanks for all you do to keep them happy and healthy!!
Impressive! That’s a lot of hard work you all do! Thank you for your devotion!
Jo Arroyo says
Wow impressive and I’ve cleaned a few cages in my life but not like that, mine were small animal lol Have to say it made me tearup a bit thinking about how much those chimps are loved. They deserve it! Thank you for doing all the hard work while we sit at home and enjoy happy chimp videos!
The sanctuary feels more like an inside-out car wash sometimes!
Laurie Church says
So interesting, thanks for doing this video.
Sherry P says
Thank you for this video, Anthony. I love blog & vlog-posts about the Chimps’ routines, of course; but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the Human effort that goes into keeping them safe, healthy and happy. 🙂
Joe McGuinness says
Great procedures. I would recommend, as you get bigger, that you add a “tag out“ to your confirmation that the doors are inactive. It’s a simple signed tag that says who disabled this and why. It prevents someone coming along, “saying Chad must be done” or even, “why is this off…” and flipping the switch. It is a common industry practice for preventing accidents.
Thanks for the suggestion, Joe. I’ve worked in facilities that used a similar system and it is nice to have the added security.
In our case, we effectively avoid confusion by designating a daily “Lead.” This person is the only staff member who operates shift doors and unlocks enclosures for the entire day. Before they do anything, the Lead must report all that was done to secure the area and explain their intentions to an assigned partner. All personnel who work in the building, including volunteers, are familiar with the door mechanisms and have been trained to work safely around the chimps, so everyone knows what not to touch and where not to go.
Still, we may make modifications to our protocols in the future and I appreciate your insight. Safety and accountability are important to us, and things will obviously be a bit different with additional chimps, staff, and enclosures!
That was so interesting. I’ve often wondered what goes into keeping the place clean. Lots of hard work. Thanks for taking such loving care of these beautiful creatures.
I too found myself tearing up seeing Honey B at the end in her sanitized and spotless enclosure, enjoying her enrichment. So much time and effort involved to make it look like that, and that’s a small space compared to the Seven’s large room. Thank you Anthony. Thanks for all your extra time to plan and prepare this video, as if your day isn’t busy enough. Or why hold ALL of you in such high regard.
Just the attention to safety/security details that working with wild animals demands is something I often think about. A serious reality of your daily responsibilities. I only mention this because when I have “closed up” a building for the night at the dog shelter where I volunteer, I always return one more time to triple check each and every latch and lock for fear I could have missed something. You can never be too cautious! And now with Covid, the pressure to keep the chimps environments clean has to add extra pressure.
We are so lucky to be able to sit in our comfy homes and watch the chimps play, forage, celebrate, meditate, and enjoy their healthy meals. In a place that looks like paradise! While we all know there is backbreaking hard work, food prep, laundry, scheduling, fundraising, etc., being performed every single minute behind the scenes, this video really brought it home. Not to mention you had the patience and skill to untangle Slinky’s! Really?! What can’t you do?
Thanks for your video Anthony. I could never truly thank you Caregivers enough. You are unsung heroes.
Thanks, Kathleen! I’m glad you appreciated the video, and I appreciate all of your support!
Thanks Anthony for all your hard work and the special care you give the chimps. Your videos are always appreciated.
Rick Ottenstein says
Great video Anthony, Having observed everybody cleaning I can attest that it is a very laborious and meticulous job that is taken on with love and care for the Chimps. I miss you guys.
Haha, you’ve seen it in action, for sure! Thanks, Rick. I hope that all is well!
I agree with Jo and Kathleen & others’ comments about the gratitude we all have for the unbelievable hard work you all do so that we can share the more “personal” moments with the chimps in the daily blogs. I appreciate the time you (and your camera person) took to provide this dose of reality for us. It ain’t all chopping veggies and fruit, that’s for sure — not that those tasks aren’t also relentless daily tasks. And let’s not forget — we saw you picking up 1 small pile of poop but there’s gotta be more!! And this was the enclosure for the Californians — the others are 7!! And we’re all hoping for and planning for more! These tasks aren’t only about the practicalities of what it really takes to provide them the life they can now live, they are also about how much love and respect you all have for the chimps.
Tears, yes. Gratitude beyond measure, definitely.
Thanks! Yes, there were more clips of picking up waste that didn’t make the cut. I am really glad you enjoyed the video!
Barbara H. says
That is amazing and so nice for those chimps. I sure hope they appreciate
all of your hard work. Thanks for the demo. All I can say is WOW!!!!!
I am exhausted after just watching this video! Haha. Thank you to Anthony and all the other dedicated caregivers who put their hearts and souls — and so much physical work — into taking such good care of these amazing individuals!
James Davies says
Great video Anthony. It’s really fascinating seeing the level of planning and effort which goes in to making the sanctuary work! More “behind the scenes” videos please!
Thank you so much Anthony for the window into the less glamorous side of life at CSNW. You are all unsung heroes.. and yet those of us who read, watch and think of CSNW every day are SINGING ALL OF YOUR PRAISES… What a great “how to” video… and also it’s nice to see and hear you (and would be true of the rest of the group) so we have a mental image to mix with all of the staff’s wonderful posts. A very precious post Anthony! ( i know.. is a cleaning video precious? well yes, it is to all of us and to the chimps 🙂 )
Wow! That’s a great video. It does a great job of showing that aspect of the work you all do. (I hope the video is also helpful as a training tool for you all to use!)
It shows just how much work has to go into taking good care of all of the chimps. And, like you said at the start of the video, shows people that caregiving is so much more than the ‘fun stuff’ that people usually think of.
(Few people think of all of the output that is generated from all of the inputs!)
Thank you for putting the video together — and for doing all of that hard, very unglamorous work day in and day out!
Karen and Don says
Anthony, it was nice to meet you in person. We enjoy your blogs immensely. This one is nothing short of phenomenal. We love it because it was educational. We had no idea what went into cleaning a cage until now. Wow, what a detailed job it is. Thank you for caring so much for the chimps. They and the entire staff are so lucky to have you. We are so appreciative of all that you contribute to the well being of the entire sanctuary. Karen and Don