Return to Young’s Hill

Annie lost in thought

Annie lost in thought

A few weeks ago we were given the opportunity to once again visit Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest as part of a summer program that allows donors to get a closer look at the work the sanctuary does in providing a home to the seven chimpanzees in their care. It’s always an honor to visit, and for the sanctuary it’s a balancing act to make visitors feel welcome while not intruding on the lives of Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra. To that end, after opening remarks explaining the history and purpose of the sanctuary, from a respectful distance we were allowed to watch the Cle Elum Seven out on Young’s Hill: a two-acre outdoor enclosure where they can forage for enrichment while taking in the splendid surrounding views from atop the hill’s numerous custom built walkways and structures.

On this day, Annie, Foxie, and Burrito seemed to spend the most time outside. Foxie in particular, accompanied as always by one of her favorite troll dolls; placed either on the back of her neck as she foraged for food, or held in her mouth as she climbed and explored Young’s Hill.

It’s also interesting to meet the other donors who support the sanctuary’s work. On this visit, easily seventy years of age spearated the oldest in attendance from the youngest visitor. It would also be a difficult task to peg a “type” of person here on this day. Non-ironic trucker hats were just as abundant as Keen footwear, and that diversity speaks volumes about how people view CSNW and the importance of supporting their work.

Our visit came on the heels of a statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing all chimpanzees — wild and captive born — as endangered, as well as an announcement from CSNW that they will be expanding their sanctuary in order to provide room for more rescued chimpanzees. Both are welcome news for a variety of reasons, and each highlights the progress that’s been made in protecting and providing for these amazing animals. That said, there’s still much work to be done and we’d like to encourage people to directly support Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest so they can continue their mission of providing for formerly abused and exploited chimpanzees, while also advocating for their wild counterparts and great apes in general.

Thank you CSNW for a wonderful day!

(Click on a pic to embiggen and view the full gallery. You can also view these photos on our Flickr Photostream.)
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