There is no one in the world like Honey B. She has so many different layers to her personality. She certainly has her mother’s charm and athletic ability. Missy loves making her caregivers run around the whole sanctuary while she only has to move a few steps. Missy as we all know is lightning fast. These traits may be genetically ingrained into Honey B. Honey B is FAST and on top of being quick, she has a thing for making her caregivers run around the entire building. Her preference is that we run inside, outside, up, down, back, forth, and through a construction site! If Honey B was a trainer she would be tough, but you would see results. Between Honey B’s workout routine and Burrito’s hill sprints you can see why we caregivers are out of breath and exhausted by the end of the day!
Archives for April 2021
Today, the chimps ate a LOT of vegetables.
Last Thursday, we received a generous donation of fresh veggies from Logan’s Casual Restaurant in nearby Roslyn. We also received our regular produce delivery on that same day, doubling our usual weekly supply and packing our refrigerators! Ever since, we’ve been practically shoveling greens out into the chimpanzee enclosures to make the most of this windfall.
At CSNW, we’re generally conservative with high-calorie foods that could quickly lead to harmful weight gain among the chimps. (The exceptions to this rule occur during celebrations- like last week’s Love a Chimpanzee Day– and the rare occasions when we’re desperate to get an ill or injured chimpanzee to take meds.) Still, there are certain food items that we dole out quite freely, with spring greens, lettuce, cabbage and kale being some of the most common. Fortunately, iceberg and romaine lettuce are among the residents’ favorite foods, sometimes stealing the spotlight from staple fruits like apples and bananas. We have even been throwing in asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower (with mixed reactions from the chimps). Despite their skepticism towards these crunchy and fibrous foods, the chimps seem to be warming up to them now that they’re seeing them regularly.
Here are some photos of Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra enjoying today’s lunch menu of greens and chow, scattered across the grassy lawn of Young’s Hill. Of course, we served Honey B, Mave and Willy B an equally amazing spread in one of their new playrooms while the painters worked on the exterior walls of the new enclosures.
Jody & Missy:
Today was pretty mellow, which was great. We love mellow! Everyone seemed at ease. The weather was nice, so we had a lunch forage for the seven. Everyone was grooming and lounging in the warm green house. Honey B, Willy B, and Mave enjoyed hanging out in their playrooms and watching the painters paint the exterior of the new building. I think the highlight of today would be Negra and Jamie having a long grooming session in the green house! That interaction isn’t something we see often. Of course, there is no photo evidence either. So, since it was a pretty quiet day at the chimp house I thought I would leave you with a quote. I recently read the book, The Boy The Mole The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This book is filled with beautiful illustrations and kind thoughtful words. If anyone is ever looking for a quick and uplifting read please check it out. So I will leave you all with this: “Nothing beats kindness,” said the horse “It sits quietly beyond all things.”
Please enjoy some photos I was able to capture from this afternoon’s lunch forage.
Burrito was searching high and low for lettuce.
Foxie was pretty pleased with her findings.
Missy took her lettuce to go and found some good views too.
Jamie has many different strategies when it comes to foraging. For example, you can free your hands up by holding your lettuce with your foot.
I love this photo of her. She looks like she is up to know good, but really she is just enjoying some lettuce… and maybe plotting something too!
Annie was busy collecting all the food people left behind.
And Neggie <3.
Honey B, Willy B, and Mave all looking out of playroom 2 windows, spying on Jamie out on Young’s Hill.
Yesterday, I was hanging out with Honey B in her new favorite place- the reading corner, the chubby, or the nook. She was being her silly self and letting me take pictures while she watched herself in the camera reflection and occasionally tried to kiss her reflection.
I hope you all have a mellow week full of kindness.
Many thanks to Beth Esposito for generously sponsoring a day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees and bovines today!
“I just wanted to help. I get so much joy from your blog posts and videos.”
We love sharing them with you all, Beth, and are so glad knowing they bring you joy! Thank you so much for being here with us and sharing in the chimpanzees’ and bovines’ lives!
Jamie and Burrito:
Honey B and Mave:
Betsy, Nutmeg, Meredith and Honey:
Missy and Annie:
Today, staff put out a lunch forage of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce for the Seven on Young’s Hill. After staff vacated the hill and security checks were performed, the hill was ready for the Seven. As the door opened and the chimpanzees began to scatter every which way, there was an alarm.
Negra had spotted something. As she began to alarm call and asking for reassurance from anybody close enough, the others were set to find the source of her alarm: a coyote on the other side of the fence in the adjacent pasture.
Jody kept Negra company as they watched the coyote scamper away into the tree line after realizing she/he was spotted.
Once the uninvited guest was gone, lunch could continue.
Though Negra took it upon herself to be on the lookout for the coyote or any other uninvited lunch guests.
While Negra kept the lookout, the others foraged as usual.
As they returned to the Greenhouse with their hauls, they all ate their lunch in the most relaxing positions.
And if you are able to, please help support us in this year’s Give Big Washington campaign. The Give Big campaign ends May 5th. We do have a pretty ambitious goal this year, but it’s because we have a lot of ambition and enthusiasm to continue to provide care for our 14 current residents, as well as welcome 6 more home later this year. All of your support, whether through donations, campaigns, fundraisers, the Chimpanzee Pal and Bovine Buddy programs, Sponsor-A-Day program, being a Produce Patron, or becoming a part of the sanctuary with a Personalized Stone, helps us to ensure days like today can continue to happen, as well as help us prepare for the Lucky Six when they arrive. Any thing helps! Truly, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!
A friend of me recently told me that they find observing cattle to be emotionally grounding. For sure, a serenely grazing cow radiates peace.
It’s difficult to tell when cattle are truly happy since they express their emotions in a way that seems alien to most humans. Still, there is a notable contrast between a calm bovine and an excited or anxious one. We who work with these creatures learn to differentiate between these various behavioral states and use this wisdom to safely provide optimal care.
In a more spiritual sense, I also love to watch the Moo Crew peacefully munch on a bale of grass hay, browse through the willows along the creek, or mow down an overgrown pasture like a band of professional landscapers. They bring me joy.
Today, we’re sharing the Jerseys and their zen-like bliss with you all. Please feel free to hop in your Gator, grab a bale of your own, and join in.
A question we’re often asked is how the chimpanzees communicate to us when they want something specific. Of course, each of the chimpanzees has their own way of getting the attention of their caregivers and expressing what they want, and really, the biggest indicator is just knowing the context in which they are asking. As I type this, Burrito is at the playroom door blowing raspberries (Bronx cheers) which given this moment’s context means, “Hey, Chad! Get in here and play with me!”
Raspberries (Bronx cheers) are a common form of communication for Foxie as well. On my chimp house days it’s not uncommon to have Chad or Anthony radio me to let me know that Foxie is calling me (blowing raspberries). She knows I’m around somewhere or hears my voice, and maybe she wants to play, or maybe I have one of her dolls she passed to me earlier and she wants them back. Sometimes I go in and she will merely stick her fingers out of the caging and wiggle them, just checking in, saying “Hi”. I mean, pretty endearing, right?
But Foxie also uses her dolls to connect in the quietest of ways, when you least expect it. I was walking past the greenhouse the other day where some of the chimpanzees were relaxing. The panels are still on so I couldn’t see who was in there from the outside, but just as I turned the corner I heard the faintest sound of something dropping to the ground. When I looked down, there was Foxie’s tiny troll doll she had dropped under the panel because she knew I was passing by. Not another sound was heard, but that was Foxie speak for, “Hello”.
Taking a few more steps I heard another soft “plink” and looked to see Strawberry Shortcake on the ground outside the raceway to Young’s Hill.
Foxie was nowhere in sight, but once I picked up her trail of dolls I saw the tiniest hand reaching around the corner of the caging, fingers wiggling, more Foxie lingo for “I was just saying hi and I’ll take those back now.”
The phantom doll drop is often something Foxie does at night from her resting place in the loft as well. With everyone curled into their night nests, I’ll be taking a last walk through the chimp house, turning out lights as I go, saying goodnight in both chimpanzee (nest grunts) and English, and I will hear the familiar, heart-swelling, ever-so-soft drop of a doll landing on the ground behind me only to look up and see Foxie’s fingers or toes sticking out of the caging above, wiggling “Goodnight”. Or sometimes, impossibly, asking you to just toss them back into her hand from below without even being to see you! (Apologies for the poor, old photo, but it’s all I could find to give you an idea of what this looks like from below).
It’s an incredible privilege to know the chimpanzees well enough that we are part of the ebb and flow of their daily conversations and communications, but more so, after all they’ve been through in their lives, it’s immensely fulfilling to know they get to experience being genuinely heard and understood as the individuals they are, and that their unique choices and needs are met, their unique expressions valued. There’s so much beauty in the myriad of ways in which we can connect with those we share our lives with. There’s so much beauty in sanctuary.
And here’s a bonus photo because I can’t get over these views from the new playroom. You have to really look, but Mave is in the top of the chute in a sun puddle and Willy B is out on the walkway in their courtyard. Such a gorgeous afternoon!