Caregivers are the heart and soul of every animal sanctuary. To recognize their vital contribution to the well being of thousands of rescued animals around the world, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance has teamed up with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to create a day in their honor. Today, we are proud to celebrate the first annual Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day!
Here at CSNW, it’s impossible to overstate the love, dedication, and commitment that our caregivers demonstrate every day. Every moment of playfulness we share on this blog, every picture of contentment you see, is the product of thousands of hours of hard work by CSNW’s caregiver crew.
The staff and volunteer caregivers clean for five hours a day, seven days a week. It is a never-ending job.
They prepare the chimps’ many meals, forages, and food puzzles each day.
They invest countless hours in training so that they can help serve those meals safely.
They wash and fold 70 or more blankets a day so the chimps can build fresh, clean nests.
They plant gardens and tend to them throughout the summer so that they chimps will have the freshest produce possible.
They throw parties for the chimps to keep life exciting and interesting.
They spend countless hours building trust and developing friendships.
They tend to wounds and ensure that medications are administered daily.
They engage in hundreds of hours of positive reinforcement training so that the chimps learn to cooperate with physical exams.
They walk for miles around Young’s Hill in the blazing sun and the pouring rain to keep Jamie and her friends company.
They work weekends and holidays because the chimps never take a day off from needing our care. And when Jamie insists on staying out all night and walking in the moonlight, they are there too – even when they might rather be home in bed.
Caring for chimpanzees is hard work. It’s physically demanding and, at times, emotionally draining. But it can also be unbelievably rewarding. We are lucky to be surrounded and supported by people who find fulfillment in working hard for the benefit of others; people who measure success by the amount of good they can do for the animals who so desperately need our help.
To Elizabeth, Katelyn, and Anna, who dedicate their lives to the Cle Elum Seven, to the dozens of selfless volunteers and interns who give up their free time to serve these deserving chimpanzees, and to sanctuary caregivers around the world: Thank you for all you do and Happy Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day!