Chimpanzees are not known for being delicate, but Annie somehow manages to be graceful and elegant, particularly when she is having a quiet moment to herself.
… that Burrito, Missy, Jamie, Jody, Annie, Foxie, and Negra were ever thought of as a means to an end in biomedical testing.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and allowed these seven chimpanzees to learn how to be chimpanzees, to learn who they are, and to be able to live in a home full of love and freedom. This video, as always, is for you!
Our primary objectives as caregivers in a sanctuary is continuously improving the well being of those in our care and working to make the world a better place for all chimpanzees. We strive to provide what our tagline says: hope. love. home… sanctuary.
It doesn’t take long to realize that all of this just ends up circling back.
The chimpanzees give me hope everyday.
Sometimes the problems the world is facing seem insurmountable. Sometimes I just want to go back to sleep when I open my eyes in the morning and think of the work that lies ahead. But then there are these seven chimpanzees who lived for most of their lives with no reason for hope, yet they didn’t shut down.
Even Negra, who was ripped from her home and her family as a baby and used as a test tube for over three decades – she survived. And she can now lift her head to the sky and allow the rays of the sun to warm her face, or curl up under a blanket and sleep peacefully.
Nothing gives me hope more than seeing the chimpanzees thrive at CSNW.
And then there’s love. After what humans have done to them, these chimpanzees should be angry. It would be completely justified for them to rise up Planet of the Apes style and never trust another human. Yet, surprisingly, they do show affection towards humans.
It’s easy to see that Foxie is happiest when she’s making someone else laugh or smile. She often spots me from a distance and runs over just to have a little playtime.
Burrito too. Just this morning, in between his a.m. displaying, he was stomping his feet and running through the front rooms to get me to play chase.
All the love I try to convey to the Seven just comes right back.
These misfit captive chimpanzees could melt the coldest of hearts.
That brings us to home. The sanctuary provides J.B. and me with a physical home, but, far more significantly, the chimpanzees and the people that they bring into their lives through their sheer force of charm has created a more remarkable sense of home than I’ve ever experienced.
I really just can’t get over how amazing it is to be surrounded by such caring, compassionate, funny, and all-around lovely people that make up the staff, volunteers, and supporters. And that includes a lot of people who I’ve never even met in person. The Seven are really quite good at attracting the best people to be a part of their lives.
Sanctuary. It’s a word that is often misused, but it truly applies to this place. And, as I’ve learned, the spirit of true sanctuary is circular. Thank you for being a part of it.
Jody – taken this afternoon:
With all apologies to our east coast friends, the weather here is gorgeous! Perfect for a lunch forage on the hill today.
Volunteer Lynn decided to fancy things up by making sweet potato stuffed bell peppers, which she, Patti, and Amanda spread on the hill, along with beets and chow for the chimpanzees to find.
Before I forget – today is the last day to purchase Jody label wine from Northwest Cellars, so you should get on that now.
After making your wine purchase, enjoy the photo series below: portraits with mouths full
Though this is a fairly lighthearted photo series, foraging is serious business for chimpanzees. It’s their main job in the wild, making it pretty hard-wired, so searching for food is mentally stimulating and very enjoyable to chimpanzees in captivity.
There was one recent behavioral research study of chimpanzees in the wild that showed chimpanzees use long-term memory (as opposed to merely visual or olfactory cues) to find trees with the largest amount of fruit across fruiting seasons.
I posted a couple of additional photos from today’s forage on Jody’s and Burrito’s respective Facebook pages that illustrate how the Cle Elum Seven also use their long-term memory to check for the spots on the hill where they have previously found food. We humans are a predictable species and the chimps probably have us completely figured out.
In any case, here are a few photos of some of the chimpanzees enjoying the “fruits” of their foraging labor:
I bet you can guess who: