ELLENSBURG, Wash.: Talking Ellensburg chimps OK at Quebec sanctuary | State | The News Tribune -
Tatu and Loulis, two sign-language using chimpanzees formerly housed on Central Washington University’s campus, are integrating well into their new home at the Fauna Foundation sanctuary in Quebec, according to Mary Lee Jensvold, director at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute.
One of the big questions everyone had about Tatu and Loulis was, what would they do when they saw a trolley filled with fruits and vegetables in front of their room? Would they grab everything, having so many choices? What would they do…
Well, at first they seemed a little concerned about the trolley system, not too sure what they were supposed to do. It was sweet to see. So we would wait and see how they managed. Loulis would stick his hand out of the porthole and gently pick up “an apple” and then leave with his “apple”…unlike the Fauna folks who expect three of everything. Such a gentleman, and so controlled…
Tatu was the same. In fact, she seemed a little surprised that we expected her to serve herself. After all, for years she has been very well served. The trolleys are service, but a different kind…Tatu did eventually reach out and pick an item also, one item, then leave with it.
We were concerned at first that they might not be getting enough to eat, worried they did not grasp the concept and we were thinking they were waiting for someone to come and serve meals. So, we did, just in case. We tried to keep things as similar as possible. However, when we came in during the mornings we would find many items missing from the trolleys, so maybe they were a little suspicious or uncertain…not sure.
Well things have changed a little. Loulis will now arrive at the trolley, look at what is on it and very carefully select two or three items; an apple, a pepper and an orange…or sometimes he will take three apples. He doesn’t eat them all though. We have found them under his blankets in his nest. Saving for the future.
Tatu still seems to prefer her “staff” bringing her things to choose from, but she too now chooses from the trolleys freely and in front of everyone.
One of the things I have always enjoyed talking about is offering choices…The ability to choose your favourite colour apple, drink, pudding-any colour choices. For example peppers…red peppers, green, orange and yellow…each chimpanzee at Fauna has a favourite colour pepper. Tatu’s favorite colour pepper? Green.
Loulis has made a lot of human friends…his living space is right beside the enrichment room, with a wall of windows. He gets to peek in at the volunteers while they make packages, clean up the area, or play with him- if they are invited too. Loulis loves this space as it has the most action and he waits there each day to see who will come to visit. He has won the hearts of many volunteers and of course, all the Fauna staff!
Rachel arrived at Fauna on September 12, 1997. Before Rachel was abandoned at the LEMSIP research labs, she lived in Florida.
Taking bubble baths and wearing frilly dresses, Rachel was someone’s pet. Then, when she was not even 3 years old, her ‘nanny’ brought her to the lab. There Ch-514 was involved in 3 studies enduring 39 punch liver biopsies.
Mostly she was treated for the wounds and abrasions to her wrists and neck that were self-inflicted during the many anxiety attacks she had. She also suffers from the ‘phantom hand’ syndrome.
She has bitten all of her nails to the quick rubbing them until there is nothing left. This she does when she is calm; it is terrifying and heartbreaking to see her when she is not.
Please read her story: http://www.faunafoundation.org/html/rachelprofile.html
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.
~ Cylde Watson
A tradition here at Fauna is drinking hot tea, hot honey and lemon water, hot soy milk with cinnamon and nutmeg, hot drinks…
For some of the chimps the hotter the better…Tatu loves her hot honey water very hot, and served with a teaspoon…she really enjoys these hot drinks, sipping slowly off the teaspoon, sometimes with her magazine right beside her.
An update from Gloria about Tatu and Loulis!
The living space occupied by Tatu and Loulis is one of the best locations at Fauna. It was designed with seniors in mind-for Annie and Donna Rae, Pepper and Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen has lived in this part of the chimp house for many years, and she loves it there as well as a few other favorite locations. Right now Tatu and Loulis are living there with a view of all the comings and goings at the chimp house. Deliveries, staff, visitors, contractors, everyone has to pass them and they are so curious they want to see everyone…especially Loulis. Just like Mrs. Cravates on Bewitched, only he is Mr. Cravates. He loves to see who is coming in the building, and he always wants to say hi. He is Mr. Social, and it has been wonderful to see him like that.
Tatu and Loulis are doing remarkably well, they seem to have embraced their new life and are adjusting very well. Great efforts have been made to make sure they have things from home, blankets, favorite items, foods, and human friends. Every effort has been made to help Tatu and Loulis feel welcome in their new home, and feel secure. Friends of Washoe have made the transition so much easier by sending friends and making sure most of their personal belongings came with them. From cups and bowls to blankets and cargo nets…even favorite tires to sit on…Tatu loves to sit on tires, but they were hers…her very own black and red blankets, her own sleeping bags, her red clothes, her favorite cup. Every detail was covered, and that was a blessing, and all of that helped make the move easier.
Tatu and Loulis have friends here every day. They have three people who sign to them, everyday of the week we have at least one interpreter, most days two, and some days three.
Fauna has on staff a friend of theirs from CHCI, our very own Anna, our enrichment co-ordinator. Anna does operant conditioning with all of Faunas family of chimpanzees and she has worked here for almost three years now. We hope she stays forever as Tatu and Loulis do seem to enjoy Anna’s company—and so do we.
Fauna also hopes to hire Kaeley. Kaeley loves Tatu and Loulis and knew them for four years before the move. She will be returning in the spring to do her thesis and we are looking forward to having Kaeley here with us full time.
Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold was here to visit Tatu and Loulis in the fall, she returned about six weeks after the move. It was very special to see how nice her visit went. Loulis was the first one Mary Lee saw, because he is always at the front door, watching so he saw her first…He invited her to a game of chase, was very very happy to see her, and wanted to sit and visit, it was a warm and loving welcome.
Tatu was happy to see Mary Lee too. She greeted her warmly and with great affection for her dear old friend. It seemed to me that everywhere Mary Lee went Tatu and Loulis were following. They were listening to her every word and that was very interesting. On one day, Mary Lee went out for a little walk along the skywalk, just under Tatu and Loulis…they walked together the three of them all the way to the pond to watch the Canada Geese landing. It was a special time indeed for all three. Tatu and Lou up high in the skywalk, Mary lee on the ground below, strolling along.
A lot of people have wondered why they came to Canada? Well, we had space and we were able to provide a new home immediately. All of us would have been relieved for sure if Tatu and Loulis could have stayed in America, but think of it this way…lots more holidays to celebrate. Now they get two Thanksgivings, they get July 4th and July 1st (Canada Day) and so many more great days to celebrate. Tatu loves parties and so do all of Fauna’s residents.
When Tatu and Loulis left CHCI they got lots of gifts and things to take on their trip with them. Something I found really very nice and thoughtful for Loulis and for us were the Canadian flags that were given to him for his trip. He loves to make night nests and he apparently likes the fabric that flags are made from. So when his first night nest was made here in Canada, he had a large flag in his nest and a small one that he seemed to carry with him to different locations. It was very sweet to see how attached he was to these special gifts he got from friends at home, and how he was to these two flags. These special gifts that meant more than we will ever know, reminders of his friends back home, and something that made the journey with him here to Canada.The flags are still there with him and get washed regularly and returned to him.
There have been questions about Fauna staff learning American Sign Language…we are trying…but it is so hard. Thank goodness for Anna, Meg and Kaeley, they save us all the time. We do have another person at Fauna who knows sign language, her name is Laurence…she learned French sign language, so it is a bit different from ASL…but at least she has the gestures right. It is hard but we are trying. Poor Tatu, she just calls us stupid…but even she is more patient with us now.
So…everyone is settling in and we are thrilled to have Loulis and Tatu with us. We know you are all sending your love and we thank you for that.
A stunning shot of Petra by photographer Jo-Anne McArthur!
November 12, is a special Anniversary, it is the anniversary of the arrival of 3 very remarkable friends of mine. Jeannie, Tom, and Yoko, three chimpanzees who almost didn’t make it out of the research laboratory. Each one with their own “unique” problems, problems that could have stopped them from ever getting out of the lab, yet each one still deserving of a second chance, the chance they got here at Fauna.
Jeannie had deep emotional problems that made it impossible for her to live in a social group without medication to help control her anxiety and fears. Tom had difficulty socializing. After more than 25 years of living in solitary confinement he found it difficult to live with others. Yoko’s story was similar, but he was really angry and aggressive after 16 long, hard years in research where he was considered a “hard core research animal”, and was subjected to far more than most others had to endure…Yoko was not considered a good candidate for sanctuary life.
As I listened to the amazing radio interview with Dr. Capaldo , President of The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), I was reminded yet again of how important their stories were in the fight to end chimpanzee research, and how chimpanzees with problems like Tom, Jeannie and Yoko should never have been denied retirement, and that all chimpanzees should be given that second chance. As long as their stories are still being heard…their pasts will be part of the future, the futures of other chimpanzees who are still behind bars today.
I felt grateful for the chance Dr. Capaldo, gave Tom , Jeannie, Yoko to have their voices heard. The campaigns that were launched, “Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees”, and “In their own words”, gave me the opportunity to tell their stories, to thousands of people. A feat I could never have accomplished alone.
Most of you know that Tom and our Jeannie are no longer with us. Yoko is the last survivor of that special group of three who came to Fauna November 12, 16 years ago. Yoko is the reason I write today…to tell you of his health and to remember on this Remembrance Day, those still behind bars, and still in research labs today.
Yoko and his family of chimpanzees have been through the most unimaginable suffering, and we must never forget what they have endured. The fight is still on and the end of research on chimpanzees is definitely in sight for many, but not for all.
When the announcement came that all but 50 chimpanzees would be retired, I could only think of chimpanzees like Tom, Jeannie and Yoko. Those dear souls who were nearly given a life sentence in bio medical research, who would have died alone in stainless steel cages or concrete cells at the hands of the researchers, had they not had a sanctuary to go too.
The only way we can make it right for Yoko and his kin is to end the suffering for all other chimpanzees. I cannot even begin to describe to you what it is like to watch Yoko each day as he struggles to live. His pain and suffering so evident and so very difficult to witness. Over the years Yoko has been through some tough times with his health. Years of invasive research have left him with unimaginable damage similar to what we had seen in Pablo, Jeannie and our Tom, each one leaving us in shock and disbelief once we learned of the damage research had done to their bodies.
Yoko is failing, this time I am not sure he will find the strength to carry on. He has fought the fight a very long time and each time I feel it will be his last fight. I pray I am wrong. Yoko is our warrior, a strong willed and determined fellow. His courage unbelievable, his will to live and his inner strength the kind I have never seen….for years he has had ailments and health issues because of his years in extremely invasive research.
Overuse, abuse, and unethical treatment have damaged him beyond repair. The years of observing him and being a witness to his pain and suffering have been hard on all of us. He is without question the one and only chimpanzee at Fauna who has kept his distance, remained untrusting and who has broken our hearts in a way no one else has.
We can’t make it up to him, and we can’t make him better…
Yoko is in palliative care and this time I feel less certain he will find the strength to carry on. I am not as hopeful or optimistic as I have been before and more than anything, Yoko needs your love and your prayers…Send your loving energy and keep him in your thoughts. The power of love has proven over and over again to have more results than I could ever write about, and he deserves your love.
Thank you for listening to me, and thank you for being a friend to Yoko…
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