From Captivity to their Sanctuary
In the world of animal welfare, there was certainly loud cheering for decisions by the National Institutes of Health to discontinue using chimpanzees for biomedical testing in the United States. Combined with recent changes to the Endangered Species Act and generally how society views protecting chimpanzees and animals in general, the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest is working to welcome more chimpanzees to their forever sanctuary.
Founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest is located on 90 acres in the state of Washington. The “Cle Elum 7” arrived on June 13, 2008 from a private biomedical facility in the U.S. They were used to text hepatitis vaccines and the females were used as breeders during their years in the labs with the babies taken almost immediately following the birth. Today, celebrating the 10th anniversary of these 7 chimpanzees arriving, the Sanctuary has excitedly launched the Bring Them Home Expansion Campaign
Meet the Original Cle Elum 7
Diana Goodrich, co-director of the Sanctuary, can’t hide her delight when she says working with chimpanzees is an incredibly cool and rewarding job. Goodrich shares that it never gets old when she and volunteers feed the chimpanzees their favorite foods – tomatoes for Missy and pears for Jamie – or to play tug-of-war with Burrito or pass-the-doll with Foxie. However, some of her favorite moments are just watching what the chimpanzees do when they are alone or in a group. Sometimes that means watching Annie wrestle with her BFF Missy. Other times, Goodrich feels her heart swell and soar when watching quiet and soulful Negra gaze out of a window for hours onto the valley below or witnessing Jody proudly walking down a hill outside while carrying a huge mouthful of wild plants to be savored later. Learn More About The Chimps Here >
Cages No More
While the terrain and weather at the sanctuary are quite different from equatorial Africa where chimpanzees live in the wild, the the Cle Elum 7 find the Sanctuary a welcoming and hospitable environment and enjoy a rich social life after their previous life experiences. They have embraced all that a sanctuary in the foothills of the Cascades has to offer, which it turns out, is quite a lot! From the snow (that they love to eat!), to the neon green grass of spring (that they also love to eat!), to the long and leisurely days of summer, they find something good in every moment and look forward to other great things arriving in the future.
Expanding The Sanctuary
Last year the sanctuary purchased 21 acres of land immediately adjacent to the original property, bringing the total acreage to 90 and setting the sanctuary up with adequate room to enlarge their operations. This year the focus is on encouraging donors, sponsors, and volunteers to become invested in the Bring Them Home campaign.
“Despite our collective passion to make a difference, it’s a challenging campaign and requires a lot of planning and significant investments,” says Goodrich. “In addition to the all-important funding, there are also permits and regulations with lots of people involved in the process and lots of time waiting for one piece of the project to move forward so the next piece can move. We’re on track to break ground on the first phase of the expansion as early as this summer. We want to do everything right, and we’re so excited to design fun features into the plans that we know the chimpanzees will love.”
Keeping Up With Jamie
Bring Them Home
“It can’t happen fast enough for those chimpanzees who are waiting, or for the staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters who are eager to provide a second chance for chimpanzees out there. We know these new chimpanzees will love Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest as much as our seven chimpanzees do now. We can’t wait to Bring Them Home!”
For more information about Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
or to lend a hand to the Bring Them Home campaign, visit:
https://chimpsnw.org/ | FB @ChimpSanctuary | Twitter @ChimpSanctuary | Instagram @ChimpSanctuary