Advanced Chimposiums

Advanced Chimposiums


Advanced Chimposiums are longer and more intensive than the regular, one hour Chimposiums. These Chimposiums offer six hours of detailed classroom presentations and guided observation sessions with the chimpanzees. In addition, CHCI will provide you with a light dinner to enjoy while viewing the chimpanzees being served their dinner via closed circuit video.

The schedule has been changed due to the plans of the Chimpanzees leaving CHCI in late summer.
We will hold our last Advanced Chimposium July 20th.

Reservations should be made at least two weeks prior to the date - just call us to sign up! 509-963-2244

Sample Schedule

  1. History of chimpanzee cross-fostering projects
  2. Current CHCI research
  3. 1st observation with the chimpanzees
  4. Free-living chimpanzees
  5. Chimpanzees in captivity: biomedical research, entertainment, and sanctuaries
  6. 2nd visit with the chimpanzees
  7. Dinner with the chimpanzees (via closed circuit television)
  8. Q&A and giftshop


We offer Advanced Chimposiums 6-7 times per year. They occur on Saturdays from noon until 5:30-6:00pm. Most guests attend a regular Weekend Chimposium on the same Saturday, so they spend much of the day with us.

In order to provide a more intimate, academic experience, we limit the Advanced Chimposium to 20 people. Please e-mail us at info@friendsofwashoeorg or call us at (509) 963-2244.

Reservations must be made at least two weeks prior to the Advanced Chimposium.

An adult must accompany any Advanced Chimposium attendee who is under the age of 18. We do not recommend that children under the age of 16 attend the Advanced Chimposium.


Tuition for the Advanced Chimposium is $150.00 per person. This includes a free regular Chimposium on the day of the Advanced Chimposium and a light dinner.

What Guests are Saying about the Advanced Chimposiums

"All of the staff were incredibly knowledgable, enthusiastic, and obviously dedicated to their work. I would highly recommend the Advanced Chimposium to anyone."

"The Chimposiums are an outstanding way to introduce people to Washoe's family and to provide education about the great work that goes on here, as well as the plight of chimpanzees in the wild and in biomedical facilities. Great job and thanks!"

"The lectures were extremely informative. The program is amazing and highly valuable. This is information I know will translate directly into my own life."

"It was very interesting. Everybody should attend this Chimposium to understand about chimpanzees and the dangers they face. Fantastic! Thank you very much, indeed. I hope to come back again."

Cancellation policy

If we have to cancel an Advanced Chimposium: We may cancel an Advanced Chimposium if we have not received the minimum number of reservations (usually five) by the deadline two weeks prior to the Advanced Chimposium date. If your Chimposium date is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of your tuition cost, we can transfer your reservation to a later date in that calendar year.

If you would like to postpone an Advanced Chimposium: Prior to the two-week deadline, you may postpone your reservation for a later Advanced Chimposium, within the same calendar year (if space is available). After this time, tuition is regarded as a donation.

If you cancel two weeks before: A $10.00 processing fee, per person, will be charged for all cancellations made prior to the two-week deadline.

We cannot offer a refund if you cancel after the deadline two weeks before your Advanced Chimposium date.

Frequently Asked Questions about Advanced Chimposiums

Who gives the Advanced Chimposium lectures?
The Advanced Chimposium lectures are given by CHCI graduate students currently involved in research and chimpanzee care.

Can I bring a video or still camera?
We do not allow video or still photogaphy during either regular Chimposiums or Advanced Chimposiums.

Where can I park during the Chimposium?
CHCI does not have a parking lot. We ask that all visitors use the library parking lot on Nicholson Blvd., which is free on the weekends. Please call for information on accommodations for those with disabilities.

What is the difference between monkeys, chimpanzees, and apes?
We are all primates! Chimpanzees are a type of ape as are humans, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, and bonobos. Monkeys are typically smaller primates, and can usually be distinguished by their smaller stature and tails.

Will we get to touch the chimpanzees?
No. Visitors to CHCI will visit with the chimpanzees through glass from a short, safe distance. Chimpanzees are five to seven times stronger than humans, they have denser bones, and thicker skin, thus making humans and chimpanzees unequal play partners. Only the chimpanzees’ caretakers can safely interact with the chimpanzees through the wire mesh when the chimpanzees solicit ticking, chase, or grooming. However, no one ever goes into the enclosures with the chimpanzees.

How can I find information on this project before I come to the Chimposium?
You will find that the most thorough history of CHCI is in Next of Kin, Dr. Roger Fouts’s book on his life with Washoe, Moja, Tatu, Dar, Loulis, and many other chimpanzee friends. Also, our website offers information on each of the chimpanzees, research at CHCI, current issues such as the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, and links to other informative websites. Our gift shop also has several books on chimpanzee behavior and ethics (available through the giftshop).

Can I record the lectures or take interviews after the Chimposiums?
We do not allow the Chimposiums to be recorded or videotaped. We do have plenty of written information about the project for you to take home. For interviews, please email Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold.

Will the chimpanzees perform tricks for the visitors?
Dar and Tatu, two of the chimpanzees at CHCI were cross-fostered in human homes, and raised like deaf human children. Just as you would not exploit your children by making them do tricks, these chimpanzees do not "perform." The philosophy of CHCI is built on respect for our fellow beings, and is a sanctuary for these four chimpanzees. You may see the chimpanzees grooming, playing, flipping through a magazine, or taking a nap. This is their home and they continue to go about their daily routine regardless of whether or not there are visitors.

Will I see the chimpanzees signing?
Just as you are more likely to talk to a friend than to a stranger, the chimpanzees sign most to the people they see on a daily basis. However, the chimpanzees do occasionally sign to visitors, and you will be taught several ASL signs before visiting with them. The staff do not ask the chimpanzees to sign for the public, just as you would not ask another adult to speak with a stranger to entertain them.

What does my tuition fee pay for?
CHCI is a primarily self-supporting facility; the tuition you pay goes directly to the care of these chimpanzees.

Are there any other programs I can attend to learn more about these chimpanzees?
Yes! For students interested in the field of Primatology, we suggest our Summer Apprenticeship Program, a ten-week intensive program designed to teach students how to care for captive chimpanzees and carry out non-invasive scientific research. We also have volunteer internships for Central Washington University students and a volunteer Docent program for those in the Washington State area who would like to help teach others about Washoe and her family. Of course, there’s more information on all the programs on our website!

Can I bring gifts for the chimpanzees?
Yes! Your gifts are greatly appreciated. You can mail in or drop off items for the chimpanzees. We do have some restrictions: no glass, metal, wires, or batteries. Any food items must have the original seal unbroken. Favored items include adult-sized clothing, brushes, toys, and magazines. For a longer list of items, please visit the Object Enrichment page at the Friends of Washoe website. Thank you!