Happy Father’s Day!

This Father’s Day, being away from home and unable to spend time with my actual father, I spent my afternoon observing and playing chase with our sanctuary “father”, Topo. Although he is not the biological father of any other chimps […]

Kiddie Pool Fun

The other day, one of the caregivers decided that the chimps might enjoy playing with a sudsy kiddie pool. So we brought a kiddie pool out into the front enclosure, filled it with water and a bit of dish soap, […]

Photographing Chimps

In my opinion, (and I believe many others agree;) chimpanzees are incredibly hard to photograph.  Between their active lifestyles and dark coloring, it is hard to get a picture with the right lighting, right zoom, right focus, etc.; and not […]

Open House 2014: Children Meet The Chimps

At our annual Open House / Hootenanny visitors arrived with many questions about the chimpanzee residents of Chimps Inc. I had the opportunity to talk a lot about chimpanzees in captivity and to dispel many myths. Truly though, the most […]

Fun with Exercise Balls

Two giant exercise balls were recently donated to the chimps. After putting them in the Big Outdoors enclosure, we all gathered around with cameras ready, excited to see what the chimps would do with them. To our disappointment, however, they barely acknowledged the […]

Patti and the Worm

Going around to hand out nightly treats with Chimps Inc. founder, Lesley, is always fun. It is amazing to watch how these chimpanzees interact with a person whom they’ve known for so many years, and something interesting always happens. This […]

Super Volunteers at Spring Clean

Going into my third week of my internship, I have really started to get the feel of how much work it actually takes to a run a sanctuary. Any help is welcomed and this was especially true for our first […]

Linky’s 16th Birthday

Cats are very stimulated by scents, so for Linky’s birthday we prepared a sniffing extravaganza in the form of stuffed animals rolled around in smelly substances.  The smelly contestants included coffee, peanut butter, catnip, garlic, lime, steak, wet cat food, […]

The Trust Game

While cleaning one morning, I noticed Thiele and Herbie sitting very closely together and laughing. I paused what I was doing to observe them and saw that Thiele had her hand in Herbie’s mouth and both were laughing hysterically as […]

Mirror Enrichment for Topo

Did you know that chimpanzees have self-awareness? Though not as developed as it is in humans, chimpanzees have the cognitive ability to recognize themselves as individual beings. Humans develop self-awareness at about 18 months of age. We know this because it’s right […]

Monkey Chow for Patti

I believe Patti knows how to count. When I give out monkey chow on Tuesdays, she keeps asking for one after the other until they are all gone. The funny part is, she can’t see how many are left in the bottom […]

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Alfonz!

This week, we were lucky enough to celebrate Alfonz, the Siberian Lynx’s sixteenth birthday! Alfie and his buddy Linky were both very curious about the colorful streamers and banners hung up around their enclosures this Saturday. Alfie’s birthday was certainly […]

Karen T., Super Volunteer

Every Tuesday morning, one of our amazing, long-time volunteers, Karen T., brings oatmeal for the chimps. Tuesdays are a favorite day for both the chimps and staff at the sanctuary: Karen always shows up with fun new enrichment for the chimps […]

CJ’s 15th Birthday

CJ’s birthday was a huge hit this year! The chimps enjoyed a delicious forage in the morning of fresh strawberries, watermelon, oranges and broccoli, as well as strawberry banana smoothie popsicles scattered throughout the enclosures. Birthday bags with gifts for each […]

Looking Back: Who's Who

As my internship comes to a close and I look back on my first few days here at the sanctuary, I find myself amazed that I couldn’t immediately and unfailingly tell exactly which chimpanzee I was looking at. I mean, […]

Easter Egg Hunt

It never before occurred to me to think of Easter eggs as multi-species entertainment, but the chimpanzees seemed just as excited as it was possible to be, gathering up all the carefully placed plastic eggs. Topo in particular, coming back […]

Grooming Pairs

Here at the sanctuary there is always something to be done. When you take care of animals, especially animals as demanding as chimps, your work is never finished. That’s what makes those quiet moments all the more special. Yesterday after […]

Silly Goose Topo

When I arrived at the sanctuary this morning, Topo was in an exceptionally good mood (most likely because the chimps get sweet rice for breakfast every Friday, their favorite, but I’m going to pretend it was because he was so […]

Topo, Alpha and Protector

After a long, cold winter, the chimps are ecstatic that the weather is finally warming up and spring is quickly approaching. Today was a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree day and everyone took full advantage of it by lounging in the shade, […]

High Heels for CJ

Because most of the chimps at Chimps Inc. were raised as humans, many of them have a fondness for human-like enrichment. Herbie loves flipping through magazines and wearing hats, Emma is a born cleaner and gardener, and Jackson is especially […]