A message from our executive director

A message from our executive director

A message from our executive director

Dear Friends,

We know COVID-19 has had far-reaching effects on nearly everyone’s lives. We hope everyone in our animal-loving community is healthy and safe. Please know we have been thinking about all of you.

We want you to know that Primarily Primates is always open. Despite natural disasters, pandemics and national quarantines, care staff shows up because the approximately 300 mammals and birds depend on us for care. Per usual, our staff is providing all the essentials, food and healthcare, enrichment activities that stimulate our animals’ wild behaviors, as well as maintaining habitats and the property. (Rest assured our staff has been following all Center for Disease Control recommendations.)

That is why we still need your support. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated and sponsored animals throughout our Facebook Live events, which we offered to give people some relief from stress-inducing news and to give parents something to watch with their kids.

If you tuned into our second Facebook Live event in early April, you were introduced to Selena, Norma and Mighty Fine—our three most recent chimpanzee rescues. We rescued them in December 2019 from a failed sanctuary in California.

All three are originally from a university lab in New York City. Norma and Selena are sisters—taken away from their mother shortly after birth. Coincidentally, we rescued their mother and brother, Shu-Shu and Tommy respectively, from the same lab in May 1996.

Mighty Fine, who is 28, has the distinction of being the smallest chimpanzee at the sanctuary. What he lacks in stature he makes up for in personality. Mighty Fine is very bonded with his habitat mates. He is constantly on the lookout for Norma and Selena, and if he sees an unfamiliar volunteer or a stray deer near their habitat, he will gently grab them by the hand and lead them to their bedrooms.

Mighty Fine loves fruit and his favorites are the most exotic—like dragon fruit, mango, papaya (which are rare treats). Mighty Fine had already mastered the trading game before coming to Primarily Primates. He will trade any type of debris in his habitat for treats, as he prefers a Martha Stewart-level of cleanliness.

Selena, who is 27, is the equivalent of the high school cheerleader: very popular, and bubbling with personality. She is so popular that the alpha male, Deeter, in the habitat next door is a huge fan and constantly invites her to consider a move to his enclosure. Her favorite foods are grapes and strawberries. Any time a caretaker is nearby Selena likes to sandwich herself between Norma and Mighty Fin to make sure she is literally the center of attention.

Norma, 28, is quiet, reserved, gentle and thoughtful—which is ironic because she is a very large chimpanzee. She has a lot of freckles on her face just like her brother Tommy. Norma loves both Selena and Mighty Fine dearly, and she spends quite a bit of time each day grooming them. She is also very fond of the watching the antics between Deeter and Grace, who live next door, and often sits very close to their enclosure for a bird’s eye view.

Interestingly, Norma, Selena and Mighty Fine build a playroom inside their bedrooms every day, dedicating an entire portion to whatever new, fun enrichment items they’ve been offered. They are the first chimpanzees at Primarily Primates to do this.

We can rescue animals like Mighty Fine, Norma and Selena because of your generosity and kindness. Primarily Primates could not exist without you.

While we know this is a difficult time for many, we appreciate any donation you are able to make. We are grateful for your enduring support. Please donate online below.

Thank you for your support,

Brooke Chavez