As many of you are aware, June 13th has been a special day for the sanctuary for a long time.
On this date in 2008, the first group of rescued chimpanzees (the iconic “Cle Elum Seven”) arrived at the sanctuary from a private facility in Pennsylvania.
Among them was the beloved Negra, an older female chimpanzee whose actual birth date is unknown. The team decided that her birthday should be celebrated annually on June 13 and it’s been honored as sanctuary tradition ever since. What better day to recognize the passing of years than the day that she reached her permanent home?
The Seven were the only official residents of the sanctuary until 2018 when we welcomed four rescued Jersey cattle to the property. Chimpanzees Honey B, Mave and Willy B followed close behind; they were transferred from the closed Wildlife Waystation in the summer of 2019. When it was formally arranged that we would receive another group from the Waystation in 2021, we were surprised to see that one of the individuals, adult male Terry, coincidentally had June 13th listed as his date of birth. It’s almost as if we needed another reason to pop champagne on a random day in early summer…
With so much going on, it is no longer fitting to just call today’s event “The Queen’s Brunch” (as we did last year and the year before). Instead, this year’s bash was dubbed the Trifecta Jubilee (thanks to Kathleen Corby for that winning name and the graphic to go along with it!) to reflect today’s joyous confluence of three major anniversaries. The party menu featured many of Negra’s favorite foods, including oat waffles, peanut butter smoothie, whole leeks, fingerling potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and sparkling cider. (As for Terry, let’s just say that he’s not a picky eater and seems happy to be there regardless.)
Notably, the Trifecta is also precursor to the much-anticipated HOOT! 2022, our first in-person gala since 2019! You can visit the event’s official web page to learn more and buy tickets: https://chimpsnw.org/events/hoot-2022/
So, on this blustery thirteenth day of June of the year 2022, we’re not just celebrating Negra’s 49th, Terry’s 32nd, or the sanctuary’s 14th…
We’re toasting to the entire past, present, and future of the sanctuary and the twenty magnificent individuals who call it their home!
Days like today are only possible because of the generous donors who follow, support, and love the organization. Officially, three donors chose to independently sponsor today: Debbie Reintzell (in memory of Terry Lee and Theresa Hood), Tami Roy (in honor of The Queen herself), and Paulette Wrisley on behalf of the birthday chimps! We are eternally grateful to all of them- and all of you- for helping us to throw a birthday bash worthy of these amazing individuals.