February 2013 Feature

Why do I do it? There are twelve reasons why. I’m talking about my monkeys and apes. Tonight was my turn to be loved. I had just gotten over pneumonia, and I hadn’t been able to spend time with them. I got in with Sonny, knowing how much he and I both needed that time together. He came over and sat on my lap, taking my hand and putting it on his foot as if to say “love me”. He takes my hands and puts them where he needs them to be, and yes, I do feel the pure bliss of appreciation.

Then it was time for me to move on to Tim and Stephanie’s cage. Tim came out of his house and began to hug me while Stephanie sat on my shoulders grooming me. Having two of them at the same time is extra pleasure. They, too, will put my hands where they need them to be. As I tried to get up out of the chair, Stephanie wrapped her long arms around my neck and hugged me, and it did my heart good.

Deana and Trevor are two of my largest gibbons. Deana is a big fluffy cream colored love bug. Trevor reminds me of a fuzzy gorilla, gentle and kind to me. He loves his face groomed; it is like he is hypnotized in heavenly bliss. Deana is not so quick to sit on my lap…she wants me to scratch her back and groom her right leg. After a while she comes and sits on my lap; we have a special way she hugs me. While putting my face in her back, she brings her long arms up and around my neck and makes a “he he he” sound while hugging me.

It’s getting late and they like to go to bed when it gets dark, but knowing that they want that special time with me is my greatest happiness. I’m not sure Abby wants love or not. She has been different this past year. Sometimes she will not even come to see me. As soon as I sat down, she came over and wrapped her long arms around my neck and gave me one of her hugs. She is not one to give those out, so when she does, you know you are special. She laid her head on my heart with her arm on my shoulder as she did when she was younger, and it felt as if we were communicating our love and understanding.

I will not allow anyone else to do what I do because they are still wild animals and can turn on you at any time. But the love that I feel from them is why I have dedicated my life to caring for and protecting them.

–Pam White

October 2012 Feature – Palm Oil

One of our missions is to help with primate conservation efforts.  The Center for Great Apes’ fall e-newsletter featured an article we’d like to highlight.  According to the article, palm oil plantations are the primary cause of the destruction of rainforest habitat and stresses the animals living there.  It is not practical or possible to avoid all products containing palm oil, but:Deana with pink jack-o-lantern bucket

“There are palm oil growers who have committed to not grow their crop on rainforest lands, and they are planting farms with renewable and sustainable palm oil trees.  These producers are members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and are committed to using only certified sustainable palm oil.  If you must buy a product containing palm oil, please support companies that are doing their best to make a difference…”

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff published the following two lists (links below) of Halloween treats and other products that use only certified sustainable palm oil.

The first list notes that:

“Any products made by Nestle, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo (Frito Lay), Hershey’s, Mars, Walmart (Great Value Brand), ConAgra, Kraft Foods and Nabisco (even if not listed above) are good choices as they are all members of the RSPO.”