Diana Goodrich, co-director of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

by | May 10, 2023

Diana Goodrich–co-director of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, located not far from Seattle, and housing 15 chimps—says she can’t recall a time she didn’t want to work with animals. Goodrich traces the winding path, academically and professionally, that led her to helping lead the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, addressing the qualities she finds captivating about chimps. When asked about the climate there, as compared with that of several other primate sanctuaries in Florida, she responds that it’s not as rainy—and certainly less rainy than nearby Seattle—but a good deal colder, sometimes getting snow. Goodrich shares biographies of some chimp residents—their histories before arriving at the Sanctuary and notable behavior since—including Burrito, Negra, and Jamie. This slides into a conversation about how certain chimps live there with others in a particular group, the dynamics and personality traits—the matchmaking of sorts–that’s involved in assembling a group. We spend some time discussing the sad passing of Jody, a beautiful and beloved chimp who had died just 10 days prior—the first chimp to die in the Sanctuary’s history. Goodrich describes Jody’s personality—maternal: horribly ironic, given how many babies were ripped from her, earlier in her life—and passions, including gathering weeds and greens and sunflowers from the outdoor habitat, and sharing them with her friends.  This discussion includes a conversation about grief. The Sanctuary posted a video (https://chimpsnw.org/2023/05/saying-goodbye/), showing some of Jody’s fellow chimps saying goodbye to her body—they are grieving Jody, like at a funeral or memorial service; the piece is profoundly poignant. In addition to her work as co-director of the Sanctuary, Goodrich serves as public affairs committee chairperson for the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), and in that capacity, she assesses the future of chimpanzee sanctuaries—the once-urgent, seemingly endless need to house chimps has receded…supplanted, she explains, by the dire state of affairs presently with monkeys. (https://chimpsnw.org/, https://www.facebook.com/chimpsanctuary, https://www.instagram.com/chimpsanctuary/)


ALSO: I spoke briefly with Sheena Drost, the office manager and board secretary at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary, which, across two facilities in and around Gainesville, adds up to the country’s largest cow sanctuary. Drost recounts an awful episode the Sanctuary experienced—an extended con perpetrated on them by two contractors who, ostensibly, were going to build what would become Airbnb lodgings. It turned out to be a scam that was horrific and constituted a significant setback for the Sanctuary, financially and emotionally. I invited Drost to tell this story, in the hope that some of our kind listeners will offer support or resources, of one kind or another, to Critter Creek. (https://crittercreekfarmsanctuary.org/, https://www.instagram.com/crittercreekfarmsanctuary/, https://www.facebook.com/CritterCreekFarmSanctuary)

COMEDY CORNER: Jim Gaffigan’s “Horse Racing” (DS edit) (https://www.jimgaffigan.com/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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