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Christmas came early last year at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. The unusually warm weather and a surplus stock of Christmas gifts that came into the sanctuary made the team organize a little preview of the festivities to come for the resident chimpanzees.

For the last few years, the chimps received potted Christmas trees in December that could be planted on the premises once the ground thawed in the spring. Because of this, the animals now have three trees to play within their two-acre outdoor enclosure … and the evergreens were just waiting to be decorated.

Naturally, the ornaments had to be chimp-appropriate and it is hard to imagine something the animals would approve of more than lots of special holiday forage.

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The trees were decked out with slices of apples and bell peppers.

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The chimpanzees – Missy, Burrito, Jody, Jamie, Foxie, Annie, and Negra – were more than happy with the pre-Christmas extravaganza.

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All the new gifts were quickly found…

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In no time at all, they munched up all the tree-treat-decorations!

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The following day, Jamie spent the day examining her Cowboy Boot book, and carrying it from one nest to another.

Needless to say, the presents and edible decorations the chimps found on their trees were the perfect gifts! It is so sweet to see these chimps, many of whom were rescued from laboratories and research facilities, finally get to celebrate and enjoy life! A big thanks to their amazing caretakers for making this beautiful experience possible!

To learn more about Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, click here.

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All image source: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest