Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Urgent Action Call: Make a Call during National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees

To: All Fauna supporters in the US

As a supporter of the Fauna Sanctuary, you are well aware of the plight of captive chimpanzees and you have shown how much you care by adopting a chimp or donating to our Lifetime Care Fund or to one of our special projects. In doing so, you have helped give Pepper and everyone else in the Fauna chimp family a new lease on life. As you know, many other chimps have not been so fortunate and are still being exploited in US laboratories, waiting their turn to be released into sanctuary. This will only happen through legislative change and only with your support. Here is how you can help.

National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees in laboratories begins TODAY! Please take a moment to contact (for phone numbers/emails click here) your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513), which will end painful experiments on chimpanzees and retire them to sanctuary.

  • If you called or e-mailed before, please be a part of this national push by contacting your legislators again. A few minutes will help Congress understand that their constituents are behind this bill ALL THE WAY.
  • If your legislator is already a co-sponsor, (legislative map), thank them and ask them to put their leadership behind this bill’s success.
  • If they are not yet signed on, ask them what information they might need to help them join their bi-partisan colleagues who are already supporting the bill.
Here are talking points:
  • I am calling to ask Representative X [names appear in this message automatically]/Senator X [names appear in this message automatically to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513) because… [personalize with your reason]
  • Chimpanzees in laboratories suffer physically and psychologically. It is unethical, inhumane and scientifically unnecessary to continue to use them.
  • This bill will save millions in federal tax dollars, help reduce the deficit and redirect NIH funding to better research that will truly benefit humans.
Once you’ve called, please record it on our tracking form and let us know how it went. It helps us to know how many calls our supporters made when we visit members of Congress.

We, along with NEAVS/Project R&R, are committed to ending the exploitation of chimpanzees held captive in laboratories. But we can’t do it without your help. Ending chimpanzee experiments in the U.S. will free more than 1,000 individuals from suffering, crushing boredom and living and dying in a laboratory.

Over the last few months, major scientific journals and media outlets such as Scientific American and the New York Times have published opinion pieces declaring that it’s time to ban research on chimpanzees. Scientists from both public and private sectors agree that the use of chimpanzees can end without any negative impact on human health and well-being. So why does it continue?

Join our fight to end the unethical and ineffective use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and testing. Your members of Congress need to know that you care deeply about this issue and that, like millions of others nationwide, you are committed to seeing the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act signed into law!

Please call your members of Congress NOW and urge them to support this historic bill and tell us what their reply was. Please forward this e-alert to your family and friends to make sure that we keep the phones ringing and the emails flowing on Capitol Hill this week.

Do it for yourself and for all the chimpanzees who are counting on us!!

Thank you,

Gloria Grow,
Founder and Director
Fauna Sanctuary

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Psychology Today by: Gay Bradshaw

According to a report in today's New York Times, "Chimps' days in labs may be dwindling." [2] Should Congress pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 [3], this may indeed be true. The legislation bans invasive research on all great apes, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons, and orangutans.

Imagine there's no heaven

For those currently incarcerated and subjected to invasive research, it is easy to imagine that there is no heaven. The Act defines ‘invasive research' as "any research that may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma to a great ape, including [3]:

Photo: Jeannie at LEMSIP

Visit the following link for the full article:


Chimps’ Days in Labs May Be Dwindling

Marlon, a 10-year-old chimpanzee at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana.

Published: November 14, 2011

NEW IBERIA, La. — In a dome-shaped outdoor cage, a dozen chimpanzees are hooting. The hair on their shoulders sticks straight up. “That’s piloerection,” a sign of emotional arousal, says Dr. Dana Hasselschwert, head of veterinary sciences at the New Iberia Research Center. She tells a visitor to keep his distance. The chimps tend to throw pebbles — or worse — when they get excited.

This week: Beyond planet Earth, taking care of our closest relatives, and when your brain just won’t deliver.

The Science Times

Chimps’ similarity to humans makes them valuable for research, and at the same time inspires intense sympathy. To research scientists, they may look like the best chance to cure terrible diseases. But to many other people, they look like relatives behind bars.

Biomedical research on chimps helped produce a vaccine for hepatitis B, and is aimed at one for hepatitis C, which infects 170 million people worldwide, but there has long been an outcry against the research as cruel and unnecessary. Now, because of a major push by advocacy organizations, a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year. As it is, the United States is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. The other is the central African nation of Gabon.

“This is a very different moment than ever before,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “Now is the time to get these chimps out of invasive research and out of the labs.”

John VandeBerg, director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, one of six labs that house chimpanzees, agreed that this is “a crucial moment.” Any of several efforts by opponents “could be the cause of a halt in all medical research with chimpanzees,” he said.

The Humane Society of the United States and other groups pushed the National Institutes of Health to commission a report on the usefulness of chimps in research, due this year. The society also joined with the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society and others to petition the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to declare captive chimps endangered, as wild chimps already are, giving them new protections. A decision is due by next September.

In addition, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, now in Congress, would ban invasive research on all great apes (including bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). Representative Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican who is one of the bill’s sponsors, says it would save taxpayers $30 million a year spent on chimpanzees owned by the government.

Mr. Pacelle says that invasive research on chimpanzees is expensive, that there are alternatives and that chimps in research studies suffer painful procedures and isolation. “This is an endangered species that is closer than any other species genetically,” he said. “And we shouldn’t abuse our power.”

Dr. VandeBerg, on the other hand, says that stopping research with chimps would be a threat to human lives.

“Any reduction in the rate of development of drugs for these diseases will mean hundreds of thousands of people, really millions of people, dying because it would be years of delay,” he said.

If human lives can be saved, Dr. VandeBerg said, “it would be grossly unethical not to do research” on chimpanzees.

There are 1,000 chimps housed in research facilities in the United States, including at the New Iberia Research Center. The center, part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, occupies 100 acres in the heart of Cajun country about 130 miles west of New Orleans. It houses 360 chimpanzees, 240 of which belong to the university and 120 to the N.I.H., and more than 6,000 other primates, mostly rhesus macaque monkeys. It has faced accusations of chimp mistreatment in the past, and some violations of animal care standards were found, and corrected, according to Department of Agriculture inspections. The latest, in July, found some outdated drugs for the animals.

On a recent visit, some of the chimpanzees were in 34-foot-diameter geodesic domes, some in smaller outdoor cages, and some, less than 10 at that time, said Dr. Thomas J. Rowell, the director of the center, were in active studies and held in indoor cages about 6 feet by 5 feet and 7 feet high, one chimp per cage. * The physical procedures involved in the studies, he said, involved injections, blood samples and liver biopsies, the latter done under sedation.

Many studies last only a couple of days, Dr. Rowell said, but a few are longer. A study near completion had been going on for four months. He passionately defended the center’s treatment of chimps, emphasizing the veterinary care and efforts to enrich the chimps’ lives with more interesting environments.

Using captive chimpanzees for research in this country dates to the 1920s, when Robert Yerkes, a Yale psychology professor, began to bring them into the country. During the 1950s, the Air Force began to breed chimps for the space program, starting with 65 caught in the wild. Chimps were also bred for AIDS research in the 1980s, which met a dead end. By the mid-1970s, support for preservation of threatened species had grown, and the importing of wild-caught chimps was prohibited. In 2000, a federal law was passed requiring the government to provide for retirement of chimps it owned after their use in experiments was over, and Chimp Haven opened near Shreveport, La., to care for these chimps and others.

It was an attempt to bring some semiretired chimps at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico back into the research pipeline that prompted part of the recent surge of opposition. The N.I.H. wanted to move about 200 chimps it owned from Alamogordo to the San Antonio center, which is part of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. The Humane Society lobbied to prevent the move, and the N.I.H. relented, asking the Institute of Medicine, an advisory board, for the report on chimps in experimentation this year.

Chimp Haven, one potential retirement destination, now has 132 chimps on 200 acres of pine woods. Chimps live in a variety of cages and enclosures, including concrete-walled play yards of about a quarter of an acre, open to the sky, and two forested habitats, one four acres and the other five, bounded by a moat and fences. But chimps at research centers might not move at all, even if research is stopped. They might simply stay where they are, exempt from invasive studies.

Whatever the decision, both researchers and advocates know that chimps are only one tiny piece of animal research, one part of a bigger debate.

Kathleen Conlee, senior director for animal research issues at the Humane Society, says that the current discussion about chimps points the way to the future. “This,” she said, “is the kind of rigorous analysis we should be applying to all animal research.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 14, 2011

A previous version of this article gave an incomplete name for a bill now in Congress. The bill is called the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011.

*The attached photo shows one of the cages the rescued chimps (now at the Fauna Sanctuary) lived in for years while enduring painful experiments. The cages (including the floors) were made of metal bars; they were hauled up to the ceiling each day where they then lived in isolation-- no enrichment or direct contact with any other chimps (though in the wild they live in extended families).

** This year’s film ” Project Nim” shows the quality of the lives of some of the scientists doing these experiments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wildlife at Fauna

Early morning at Fauna. Our front pasture full of wild Canada Geese.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Gifts for the Chimps/Des cadeaux pour les ch

Special Thank You to all who have donated gifts /Nos plus sincères remerciements à tous ceux et celles qui ont offert des cadeaux..

Christophier Diaz, Taryn Graham, Lise Brais, Mara ScomParin, Tanya McAleer, alise Thibault, Jessica Tremblay, Celine Lavallee, Dawna Killen-Courtney, Shainty Rant, Nathalie Martel

Maya’s first days on the islands / Premiers pas de Maya sur les îles

Maya has been at Fauna for four years now and we are so happy to finally see her out on the islands. She just loves being outside now and has spent a lot of time on the different islands throughout the entire summer.

When Maya first arrived, she was the last of her group to venture out. The first thing she did was to sit on a wooden structure close to the perimeter fencing separating Billy Jo’s Island from Donna Rae’s Island. Maya is a chimp’s chimp, which means she loves to have new friends. She seemed quite interested in the chimps who were on the neighbouring island but she had not been introduced to them yet and we were not sure whether she would try to go visit them on the other island. With some coaxing, she eventually made it in and we decided to wait until she had made more friends and until we felt secure enough to try again.

That day came this past May, when Maya ventured out on the island with Binky and Spock as if she had always been out. This time again, she went to sit close to the fence line between the islands but only to observe her other island neighbours.

Premiers pas de Maya sur les îles

Depuis quatre ans que Maya vivait parmi nous, on ne l’avait pas encore convaincue de s’aventurer sur les îles. Mais, cette année, nous avons enfin eu le plaisir de la voir s’y promener tout au long de l’été.

À son arrivée au sanctuaire, Maya a été la dernière de son groupe à oser sortir. La première fois qu’elle est sortie, elle s’est tout d’abord installée sur une des structures en bois, près de la clôture qui sépare l’île de Billy Jo de celle de Donna Rae. Comme Maya est extrêmement attachée à ses congénères, elle s’est tout de suite intéressée aux chimpanzés qui se trouvaient sur les îles avoisinantes, sans pour autant oser aller les rejoindre. Nous avons donc préféré attendre qu’elle se soit familiarisée avec tout le monde avant de tenter l’expérience de nouveau.

Ce jour-là est venu en mai dernier, alors que Maya s’est aventurée sur l’île en compagnie de Binky et de Spock, comme si c’était la choise la plus naturelle au monde. Fidèle à son habitude, elle s’est assise près de la clôture pour observer ses voisins des autres îles.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Theo our Olive Baboon / Notre babouin Theo

Room Enrichment after cleaning / Les activités d’enrichissement après le nettoyage

Baboons and other Monkeys do not like direct eye contact, it is perceived as a threat.Here Theo caught us looking at him, that is the reason for the wide eye direct look. He is challenging us , therefore we simply shift our eyes to another location and he is fine and continues on with his game. / Les babouins et les autres singes se sentent menacés lorsqu’on les regarde droit dans les yeux. Quand Theo nous surprend à le regarder directement, il nous lance un regard de défi, les yeux grands ouverts. Dès que nous détournons notre regard, il reprend ses activités.

Having fun totally trashing his new grass, looking for bugs we presume. / Il s’amuse à démolir la pelouse nouvellement installée. Peut-être qu’il y recherche des insectes?
Where are the bugs? / Où sont donc les insectes?
A new place to sit and rest, as well as, showing us his amazing teeth / Un nouvel endroit pour s’asseoir… et nous faire voir ses crocs impressionnants.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From the Chimp House

Here are some pictures of the amazing theme days that Natasha has been putting together these past months..

Voici quelques photos des merveilleuses journées thématiques organisées par Natasha ces derniers mois.

Pool Shark Party /les requins

Space Day / Journée de l’exploration spatiale

Jethro's Birthday "All wrapped up theme" / Pour l’anniversaire de Jethro, une journée «emballante«

Barbie Theme Day with treats /La journée de la poupée Barbie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Precious Grub at the Center for Great Apes

Losing one of our great ape residents is the hardest and saddest part of our work in providing sanctuary care for them. This week, our hearts are breaking with the loss of our first chimpanzee resident at the Center for Great Apes - our precious Grub.
Grub was the most wonderful chimpanzee and had many fans and friends, both chimp and human. He passed Tuesday in my arms after a sudden illness that was advanced and terminal. He was 20 years old.
While I know that Grub is not suffering and is out of pain now, my grief comes from a sense of great loss in not having him physically in our lives anymore. But I realize that all the wonderful qualities and intelligence expressed by Grub...along with the joy and sweetness he brought to others... are always in our thoughts and memories and did not pass away with him.
Today, still in the blur of tears and sadness, I want to remember the happiest part of Grub's life and the things that made Grub such a special and dear fellow.Grub, Christopher and Pongo
Grub has been in my care since he was 12 weeks old, when he arrived at a Miami tourist attraction in 1991 where I was already volunteering to care for infant orangutan Pongo. As I helped to take care of several infant apes there, I became more aware of issues around the retirement of hand-raised apes used in entertainment and also as pets. It was Pongo and Grub (and concern for their future) who provided the impetus to start a sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees coming out of these situations.
It is because of Grub that over 30 chimpanzees have had a home at our sanctuary over the past 18 years.
Grub and Noelle
Grub and Kenya
Grub grew up with Kenya (now 18), Noelle (17) and Toddy (39). Two years ago, former Hollywood performer Mowgli (12) joined this group and became Grub's best male friend. Grub has lived and played with other chimpanzees here too - Brooks, Angel, Kodua and just recently, Chipper. But, Noelle and Grub had a special bond, and they spent many hours in play and grooming sessions.
His most amazing relationship was with our young handicapped chimpanzee, Knuckles, who arrived at the Center nearly 10 years ago Knuckles with Grubwhen he Knuckles and Grubwas two years old. Knuckles had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and had difficulty walking. Grub, Kenya and Noelle all accepted Knuckles into their group for limited playtimes. Grub was the most gentle with him and seemed to be fully aware of his limitations and specialness. However, when Mowgli joined the group, he was not so gentle with Knuckles and would playfully try to poke him or pull Knuckles' hair through the wire mess when Knuckles visited Grub's group. But, Grub would keep an eye on Mowgli, and if he saw that Mowgli was getting to rambunctious with Knuckles, Grub would either gently put his hand on Mowgli's arm to stop him...or give him a stern eye to warn Mowgli not to touch Knuckles.
Grub and Golden Retriever JoeGrub's gentle nature was also evident in his love of dogs. As a youngster, Grub grew up around several dogs that lived at the tourist attraction. He giggled in games of chase with the dogs and would be "over the moon" when they licked his face! As he grew in strength, we had to limit his direct contact for the safety of the dogs. Grub had a golden retriever friend in Wauchula (Joe) who was the happy recipient of monkey chow biscuits that Grub would toss to him... and then play "chase" as Joe ran around the outside of Grub's habitat.
Grub painting
While Grub was a well-known chimpanzee artist (once featured on the NBC Today Show) and loved to paint, the most striking activity that most people will remember him for was his penchant Grub and Jane Goodallfor mask-making. He learned to make masks when a volunteer in Miami, made one for him from a paper plate when he was only three years old. He didn't want to wear it...he wanted her to put it on. From that one time, watching the volunteer tear out eye holes, he began to experiment with paper bags, cereal boxes, wrapping paper...and when he couldn't find paper in his habitat, he would pick up fallen leaves and m ake tiny masks from those. His joy seemed to be in presenting these "Grub-masks" to visitors at the Center and watching them wear the masks. In fact, he made a beautiful mask from a red cereal box for Jane Goodall when she visited him in 2005. I will miss those special gifts from Grubby.
Grub making a mask
In mourning the loss of Grub, we also must celebrate his life and continue to provide a home with quality care for the other 43 chimpanzees and orangutans who are here at the Center now...in large part because of Grub.
I am grateful to all the caregivers, staff, board members, and volunteers who have helped provide Grub and his chimpanzee family with a happy life at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula.
I am also very thankful for all our members and supporters who help make this all possible each year for EVERY great ape at the sanctuary.
With love and in memory of our dearest Grub,
If you would like to make a contribution in memory of Grub, please click here.
Your donation will help continue the care for his chimp family and orangutan friends
and is greatly appreciated.


Grub – losing a friend - By Gloria Grow

On October 6th I learned of the death of a very dear and special friend, and one of the most remarkable chimpanzees I have ever known. Not only was he kind, sincere, intelligent and oh so very loving, he made us all feel he was our best friend. He had the ability to make you feel special, welcomed, and appreciated, so much like his human Mom, Patti. In so many ways he was just like her, and the world will never be the same without him.

I cannot even begin to imagine what this means to Patti, he was like a son to her and the loss will be great. So many of us in this work have lost amazing chimpanzees in our lives, and we have grieved deeply, in some cases after knowing them for just a short while. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing someone you raised from the time they were a baby, as Grub was. He was a family member, like son, a deep and powerful bond.

I don’t even know what a day in the life of everyone at Center for Great Apes will be like for a long time. Grub was loved and cherished by all around him, Pongo, and Christopher who were raised with him, and to think of what Noelle, Kenya , Toddy, Mowgli the brother he was so recently reunited with, and dear Knuckles will go through is just so painful. It will take a strong group of people to try to console and comfort each other, to help each other go through the grieving process, and to continue to move forward for the living.

Patti wrote that to know Grub is without pain now is most important, and for him surely this is a peaceful and wonderful place, but for those left, it will be awhile before his presence will not be missed.

Dearest Patti, my heart breaks for you, for them and for everyone who knew and loved Grub. He was a true Angel, and he will be deeply missed.

Deepest condolences to my dear friend Patti, all the wonderful caring staff at The Center for Great Apes, and especially to Grub’s immediate chimpanzee family.

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” -

Good bye dear friend,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Amazing Volunteers

These past months we have been blessed with an amazing volunteer Isabel Martin, Isabel lives in Toronto and has been studying in Anthropology with a focus on primatology. She came to Fauna with great references from two other sanctuaries she had volunteered at. The first was the Koko Foundation in 2009 http://www.koko.org/foundation/ and CHCI in 2010 http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/ . Isabel has been helping out with various jobs here at Fauna. Most of her time has been spent helping to make wonderful enrichment for the chimps..Here are some fun things that she has been hard at work putting together. More to come...

Thank You Isabel!

Ces derniers mois, nous avons eu la chance d’avoir parmi nous une bénévole hors du commun, Isabel Martin. Originaire de Toronto et diplômée en anthropologie, avec une spécialisation en primatologie, elle nous a été chaudement recommandée par deux sanctuaires où elle a œuvré, soit la Fondation Koko en 2009 (http://www.koko.org/foundation/) et le CHCI (Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute) en 2010 (http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/). Pendant son séjour à la Fondation Fauna, elle a contribué à de nombreuses activités, en particulier aux activités d’enrichissement. Voici quelques-unes de ses initiatives. À suivre…

Merci, Isabel!

Canada Day

Cook Out at the chimp house

Insect Garden Party

A note from Isabel:

My name is Isabel and I would like to share with you the incredible experience I have had being a summer volunteer here at Fauna. Having spent the previous two summers volunteering at other primate sanctuaries, I thought I knew what was in store for me, but boy was I surprised! Although feeling intrepid at first, everyone here greeted me warmly and made me feel part of the Fauna family. Especially at the chimp house where I met twelve of the most beautiful and charming chimps on this planet. Each one has a big personality--like Toby’s soft demeanour, Yoko’s readiness, Petra’s budda-like quiet presence, and Rachel’s grace--and meeting them underscored for me how important it is that we continue to create a better world for all chimps who are suffering in labs, circuses, and road-side zoos. We have to make that day today and not wait for tomorrow.

Although I initially spent a lot of time working on the farm (I never knew how much I loved goats!) and at the monkey house where I was always first greeted with a hello by Darla, the work at the chimp house exercised my skill set in a very good way. I was put on smoothie patrol, coming up with new and tasty smoothie ideas for the chimps, who always showed up like clockwork when smoothie time rolled around. We experimented using some odd combinations to be sure (tomato, spinach and apple anyone?), so naturally there were some misses. But happiness reigned in my heart when there were hits. One particularly good one to try and currently in season is the ABC smoothie (AvocadoBasilCorn). Unusually good and chimp-approved! Here it is: In a blender add one ripe avocado, corn niblets from one ear of corn, 1 cup of frozen orange segments,1small lemon piece, 1 1/2 frozen bananas, 6-7 basil leaves, 1 cup of soy and add some water to thin out. Invite two friends to join you because this recipe makes 3 smoothies. Enjoy!

Also, one of the great honours I had was to work with Tasha, an animal-care worker, on weekly enrichment theme ideas for the chimps who are a demanding but appreciative audience. Some of the things they enjoyed this summer were our mardi-gras hoops, the jello-enhanced pool sharks and the metre-long paper hotdog with all the real fixins as well as the accompanying food enrichment using all of their favourites: green mango salad, tapioca pudding parfaits, honeyed popcorn and frozen jello pops. The food was always a hit!

It’s always incredibly hard to leave when the summer is over. It just doesn’t seem fair-time has allowed bonds to grow, you fall in love with the big apes, and you hope that they have come to like you too. Chimps are ironically the best teachers on how to be human, showing us that all emotions are ok, no judgments, just express what you’re feeling and then move on (or go eat!). Everything they feel is BIG and urgent, but then it passes and then they go lie down, take a walk, hang out with each other, groom one another or interact with their human friends. Although each one has had an incredibly difficult, trying life before Fauna, they laugh, love and play because that is what a day is made for. They are my kind of people.

Une Note de Isabel:

Bonjour, je m’appelle Isabel et j’aimerais partager avec vous l’expérience extraordinaire que j’ai vécue comme stagiaire bénévole à la Fondation Fauna au cours de l’été qui s’achève. Ayant passé les deux étés précédents comme bénévole dans des sanctuaires pour primates, je croyais savoir à quoi m’attendre, mais quelle surprise! Je me sentais un peu intimidée au départ, mais les gens ont été tellement accueillants à mon égard, comme si je faisais partie de la famille. À la maison des chimpanzés, j’ai fait la connaissance de douze des plus magnifiques et adorables chimpanzés de la planète. Chacun et chacune d’entre eux a son tempérament bien particulier. Toby est tout en douceur, Yoko est prêt à tout, Petra a la présence apaisante d’un bouddha et Rachel possède une grâce hors du commun. À les côtoyer, j’ai compris à quel point il importe de poursuivre nos efforts en faveur de tous ces chimpanzés qui mènent une existence misérable dans des laboratoires, des cirques ou des jardins zoologiques. Nous devons le faire avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.

Au début, j’ai surtout travaillé à la ferme, où je me suis découvert une affinité particulière pour les chèvres, et à la maison des petits singes, où Darla m’accueillait chaque jour. Plus tard, à la maison des chimpanzés, on m’a affectée à la brigade des «smoothies», ces délicieux breuvages nourrissants dont raffolent les chimpanzés. J’ai mis à l’essai plusieurs nouvelles recettes qu’ils ne se faisaient pas prier de déguster, l’heure venue. Une combinaison tomate, épinards et pommes? Pourquoi pas? Même si certains mélanges ont eu moins de succès que d’autres, j’étais ravie chaque fois qu’une de mes innovations trouvait preneur. Une des réussites de la saison actuelle est composée d’avocats, de basilique et de maïs et porte le sceau d’approbation des chimpanzés. En voici la recette :

Dans un mélangeur, incorporer un avocat mûr, les grains d’un épi de maïs, une tasse de quartiers d’orange congelés, un petit morceau de citron, une banane et demie, congelée, 6 ou 7 feuilles de basilic, une tasse de lait de soya et un peu d’eau pour éclaircir le tout. Cette recette donne trois portions. Bon appétit!

J’ai eu aussi beaucoup de plaisir à travailler avec Tasha, qui s’occupe des activités d’enrichissement hebdomadaires pour les chimpanzés, une clientèle plutôt exigeante, mais qui sait apprécier ce qu’on lui offre. Ils ont bien rigolé avec les anneaux de mardi-gras, les requins au jello et les hot-dogs en papier tout garnis, d’un mètre de long, sans compter leur enrichissement préféré- les gâteries dont ils raffolent : salade de mangue verte, parfaits au tapioca, maïs soufflé au miel et sucettes glacées à la gélatine.

C’est extrêmement difficile de partir à la fin de l’été, après s’être épris de ces grands singes, qui parfois, même, nous le rendent un peu. Chose surprenante, les chimpanzés sont passés maîtres dans l’art d’exprimer ses émotions. Avec eux, tout s’exprime, sans jugement, dans l’instant présent, puis on passe à autre chose- ou alors, on va grignoter quelque chose. Tout ce qu’ils ressentent est important, tout de suite. Et puis, ça passe et ils vont faire la sieste, ou une promenade, ou rejoindre leurs amis, se faire la toilette, peu importe. Même si tous ont eu une vie douloureuse avant leur arrivée au sanctuaire, ils savent encore rire, aimer et s’amuser, un jour à la fois. Quelle leçon de vie!

Dale Hepburn has been a Fauna volunteer for two years now. Her very first visit was organized by her son Jeff as a surprise in April of last year, Dale had no idea she was coming to see the chimps and visit the sanctuary so you can imagine her surprise. Dale then spent the following months buying and receiving donations of items for the chimps and brought a similar amount of gifts on her very first volunteer day in June 2010. Here are some of the great gifts Dale brought along on this trip. We always wonder how she manages to fit it all in her car, but she does.

Thank you Dale!

Dale Hepburn nous a rendu visite pour la deuxième année de suite. En avril dernier, son fils Jeff avait voulu la surprendre en organisant pour elle une visite du sanctuaire qui l’avait enchantée. Par la suite, Dale s’est affairée à acheter et à recueillir de nombreux dons d’articles pour les chimpanzés, qu’elle nous a rapportés lorsqu’elle est revenue pour une semaine complète de bénévolat, au mois de juin. Cette année, elle récidivait! Voici quelques-uns des cadeaux qu’elle a rapportés. Nous nous demandons bien comment elle réussit à tout faire entrer dans sa voiture…

Merci, Dale!