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Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is located near Montreal, Quebec. The Fauna Foundation is currently home to a dozen middle-aged to elderly chimpanzees. About half of the chimps were rescued from a medical research lab. in New York State. Several others spent decades on display in Canadian zoos. Two, who are fluent in American Sign Language, were part of a cross-species language study at a university in Washington State.


Each year, the sanctuary invites the public to help brighten the lives of the chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Our Grade 4/5 class jumped at the opportunity to help out!  Students worked in pairs to decorate a beautiful stocking for each of the chimps and monkeys living at the sanctuary:

We also made stockings and a card for the sanctuary's founders and the chimps' main caregivers:

Mrs. Black researched the types of "enrichment items" the sanctuary's chimpanzees enjoy and then purchased some Christmas colouring books and DVD's, crayons, small stuffed animals, Santa hats, beads and musical instruments to send to the sanctuary, as stocking stuffers.

We packed everything in a photocopy paper box and mailed it to the sanctuary:


UPDATE:  Monday, January 8, 2018

Today, the class received an amazing thank you package from The Fauna Foundation!

When Mrs. Black was in high school, she read about the groundbreaking American Sign Language (ASL) study in which Tatu was involved, at Central Washington University. Tatu and her friend Loulis are the two remaining chimps from that study (the other three have passed away).  Tatu learned sign language from humans and has an ASL vocabulary of about 350 signs. For Mrs. Black, the most amazing thing about our thank you gift was that Tatu used sign language to tell her caregivers she had drawn a bird for us!  That picture of Tatu's is most definitely "a keeper!"

This is a photo of Tatu, taken by The Fauna Foundation's official photographer:


Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

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