Oh my animal loving friends. Be prepared for your hearts to simultaneously break with sadness and burst with joy: enter the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW).
That’s right, we have our own primate sanctuary right in our back yard. The town of Cle Elum, 80 miles southeast of Seattle, is home to seven interesting, intelligent, and wondrous creatures and, alas, seven of the most abused: Annie, Missy, Burrito, Jody (snaps top row), Foxie, Negra, and Jamie (bottom row).
The heartbreak: These seven were used to breed chimpanzees for biomedical research and were themselves victims of medical experiments and tests for most of their lives. For the last several years before their rescue, they were kept the laboratory basement with no access to the outdoors and no windows.
The joy: Almost two years ago, June 13, 2008 these seven arrived at a sanctuary created just for them. Founded in 2003, by Keith Lachappelle, CSNW was a dream many years in the making. The sanctuary is located on a 26-acre farm in the Cascade mountains, and provides lifetime quality care and love for these formerly exploited chimpanzees, all while advocating for great apes through education.
I love that this haven is only a few hours outside of our fair city. Many, many, many people (and businesses) are required to keep the sanctuary open and providing a respite for these chimpanzees. And, the three directors (management team) of CSNW, Sarah Baeckler, J.B. Mulcahy, and Diana Goodrich, are all vegan! I, for one, am grateful for their work and dedication.
If finding out about this haven is new to you and you want to help, let me make seven suggestions in their honor:
- For Burrito: become a fan of CSNW on Facebook and share their page with your generous friends. Tell them about this special place and maybe they can help.
- For Annie: take $100 from your tax return and sponsor an entire day at the sanctuary.
- For Jody: donate something for the auction: they are looking for vegan businesses, artists, and restaurants to donate gift certificates, art, and food for their October 1st, 2010 fund-raising gala. Email donate@ChimpSanctuaryNW.org
- For Negra: share $20/month (just $.65/day), and become a Chimpanzee Pal. (This is what I did!)
- For Missy: maybe you have something on their Wish List that you can donate? Toddler age toys, Scrub brushes, children’s vitamins, butcher paper, or gift certificates to Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Costco, Safeway, Office Max that you’ll never use?
- For Jamie: if you are short on cash and goods, but you are able to make a regular commitment of time, you can volunteer at the sanctuary. For example ,they are seeking a limited number of volunteers to help in the kitchen of the chimp house.
- For Foxie: if CSNW is able to reach its ultimate fund raising goal of $45,000 by June 13th, they can replace 3 caged windows with bullet proof glass making a much better environment for the chimps. You might have some dough you’d like to donate OR some time you can donate raising funds in general. Check out the Banana Meter as of March 24, 2010.
I hope they are able to raise funds to build their education center so that more people can learn about the plight of primates used for research and get to know Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra. If you’ve got a birthday coming up, don’t expect a chintzy gift from me, expect a donation in your name to CSNW.
Now for extra joy, watch this video of Jamie getting a new pair of cowboy boots. Pretty sweet.