May birthday wishes have not been forsaken! Happy May Birthdays, friends! Though apologies for any belated birthday wishes to those of you who celebrate your special day early in the month!
And what a month to celebrate, as your beautiful “birthday twins” are Jody, whose birthday we celebrate on Mother’s Day (May 8th this year) and Mave, whose birthday is celebrated on May 27th! You lucky human birthday twins! We can’t imagine our lives without these two strong, intelligent, beautiful and endearing chimpanzee women. And we cannot imagine their lives without you.
Beautiful, sweet Jody is turning 47 this year! We choose to celebrate Jody on Mother’s Day in honor of the nine children she gave birth to while in biomedical research. Though she was never allowed to raise her own children, her mothering heart surrounds the members of the family she finds herself with. My heart sings every time I see her race to the closest log that sits immediately outside the raceway entrance to Young’s Hill, where she often sits in the morning sun and scans her group’s outdoor habitat for any overnight happenings, keeping a close eye on her fellow chimpanzee friends. She has an endearing habit of racing after and collecting her good friend, Foxie, if she deems for any reason that it’s in Foxie’s best interest to return to the safety of the greenhouse.
If you’ve followed us for awhile, you may recall that we typically celebrate Jody’s special day (and honor all our chimpanzee mamas, their children, and their own lost childhoods) with a glorious and abundant lilac forage! It remains to be seen, but our extended stay from winter may have us enjoying a belated lilac season, but perhaps that’s apropos for this blog! 😉 Rest assured, their celebration will be befitting the incredible person Jody is!
Foxie, during a past year’s celebration:
And Missy, who perhaps loves lilacs most of all:
And then there’s marvelous, magnificent Mave, who will be turning 33! Mave is an amazing woman. She can be quiet and reserved with two exceptions: she has the most heart-singing, wonderful food squeaks at breakfast time that ring throughout the chimp house, and when she takes a mind to speak up for herself or her chimpanzee friends in need, she doesn’t hold back.
You’ve probably heard us sing Mave’s praises numerous times in regard to her ability to calm and reassure her fellow chimps, especially during challenging times like introductions. For someone born and raised in captivity, I’ll never know just how she navigates chimp society and politics so well. I think it’s just how her amazing heart beats in life.
Honey B enjoying her first lilacs:
And as an added celebration bonus, May also happens to be Jody’s look-alike son’s birthday! Gorgeous Clay, who resides at Save the Chimps in Florida, will be turning 35 on May 20th! Clay also happens to be Burrito’s half-brother as they share the same father, Mack. With those stunning eyes, there’s no doubt who Clay’s mama is (*photo courtesy of Save the Chimps). We are so happy that Clay is safe and loved in his sanctuary home:
May this to be a hopeful, inspiring and joyful time for you all, abundant in all the good things big and small, just as you help ensure for Jody, Mave, and each of the sixteen amazing chimpanzee people (and bovines!) who call the sanctuary their home. We truly appreciate you!
Debbie Reintzell says
Happy Birthday Jody & Mave! My heart breaks for their past lives. Thank you so so much, all of you caregivers & supporters ?
tom austin says
A GRAND DAY………………..:slight_smile:
Linda C says
Every year, I wait for lilac season to see those lovely pics of Photogenic Jo!
Happy Birthday to all of the May birthday people!
Happy Brithday to everyone who celebrates in the month of May, espeically Jody and Mave and Clay. I just love all these past party photos!! But this photo of Clay really stole my heart. He’s a mix of Jody (in the eyes, brows and shape of face) and Burrito (in the freckles). I had to visit Clay’s page at Save the Chimps to learn about this dear boy who is Jody’s son. His story is a sad one. Thank goodness he is appreciated, finally, for who he is. The video where he is fishing out his apple sauce while making all thouse endearing moans….I mean who else does it remind you of?! It’s so Jody! The apple did not fall far from the tree, proving some similarities are just inherited.
Can’t wait for the celebrations!!
Kathleen, thanks so much for mentioning Clay’s page on Save the Chimps.
Nancy Duryea says
Happy Birthday to Mave and Jody. I have a beautiful framed print of Jody by Cheryl Feng called ‘Nesting for Nine’. It fills me with joy every time I look at it but also sadness when I think of the babies taken from her. I am so thankful for the life both Jody and Mave now have at the Sanctuary.
I guess we need to be reminded now and again where these beloved chimpanzees got their start. Clay’s story, told in a few chosen words,stabbed into my heart. The lilacs are lovely, Happy Birthday to Jody and Mave!
I second all of the above comments. I rejoice in the very being of Jody and Mave, even as I grieve the life and loves stolen from them by humans.
Very beautiful and touching words, Katelyn. Happy Birthday to all you beautiful ladies!
Ohhhh, these lilac pics just are so endearing! Jody smiling at the lilacs in anticipation is one of my most favorite pics of all time. I have it on my phone & look at it pretty often because it gives me such a jolt of joy. Of course, I have many others, too, and now I can add more lilac pics with their wonderful expressions. The pic of Mave w/ her eyes closed, in that posture holding the lilacs continues to convince me that she’s the Buddha, and maybe that’s how she’s so accomplished at intervening in others’ squabbles.