Lots of news to share today.
First, Diana and the chimps participated in a unique virtual event this morning hosted by Animal Protection of New Mexico and featuring Senator Tom Udall. The purpose of the event was to highlight the plight of the 39 chimpanzees forced to remain at a federal research facility in New Mexico instead of being retired to Chimp Haven, the federal chimpanzee sanctuary. While New Mexico may be a long way from Cle Elum, there are many threads connecting CSNW to this issue. You may recognize that the event’s host, Laura Bonar, was a guest speaker at a past Hoot! gala. Or you may know that Diana hails from the great state of New Mexico. You may even know that several of the Cle Elum Seven’s kids, including Negra’s daughter Heidi, Foxie’s daughter Kelsey, and Jody’s son Levi, all lived at that very research facility. They were lucky to be retired to Chimp Haven in recent years but 39 others have not been as fortunate.
Connections aside, what is most important is that they are all chimpanzees deserving a better life. Urge the NIH to fulfill the CHIMP Act and transfer them to Chimp Haven, where they belong: https://chimpstosanctuary.org
While the event took place live on Facebook and Zoom, you can watch a rebroadcast here.
Next I want to congratulate former intern Jake Funkhouser for publishing yet another paper from the observational research he conducted during his time at CSNW and Central Washington University. His latest analysis demonstrates the extent to which human caregivers are part of the chimps’ social structure – something obvious to anyone working with chimps and yet somehow missing from most discussions of captive primate sociality. Expanding our view of chimpanzee social networks will not only have profound effects on how we understand captive chimpanzee social systems from a scientific perspective but also the way in which we care for chimpanzees in zoos and sanctuaries.
And finally, let’s celebrate what looks to be a bit of justice in the fight to protect the few remaining chimpanzees in the American entertainment industry. “Doc” Antle, who you may know from this blog – or more likely Netflix’s recent Tiger King series – was indicted on several felony and misdemeanor charges related to wildlife trafficking. We and our colleagues in the sanctuary and animal protection community have been opposed to and fighting against his exploitation of young chimpanzees and other animals for a long time. Cheers to the Virginia Attorney General’s office and all those working behind the scenes for this victory in the fight against cruelty.
Here in Cle Elum, it was another beautiful day in sanctuary. Jody wadged some cattails while lounging on the greenhouse deck.
Annie laid beside her in a very Annie-esque pose.
Missy kept an eye on Young’s Hill from a perch atop the greenhouse platform.
Later she and her pals Foxie and Annie spent some time climbing and swinging.
Jamie and Burrito waited for Anna to catch up in the gator for a walk/drive around the hill. Apologies to Burrito for shaving far more of his chest than I needed to for an EKG lead during his recent procedure. May it grow back quickly.
Both Missy and Foxie kept a watchful eye on the blockmasons that showed up to protect their equipment from an impending rain storm.
Speaking of the blockmasons, the walls of the new playrooms and greenhouses continue to rise ever higher beneath an elaborate maze of scaffolding. We can’t wait to see Mave, Honey B, and Willy B in their new digs – hopefully just a few short months.