I was born on April 29, 1979 to my parents Debbie and Adam. My mother was a former circus chimp; my father’s origins are unknown, but he was a very large chimp who was used as a breeder male in the entertainment and pet trade in the 1970s. I was taken from my mother soon after birth and was raised by my human “owner.” I was a pet as well as an entertainer, and appeared in a TV movie entitled “The Wild and the Free.” Like all chimps, I became too strong to handle safely. I went from being a pampered pet to being banished in a barren cage.
My owners inevitably realized that I, and their two other pet chimps, Pepsi and September, needed a safe, secure permanent home. Save the Chimps rescued us in March 2002. We found it very challenging to live with other chimps – even each other.
At first I found it very difficult adjusting to living in a large chimpanzee family – which is true of many pet chimps. Save the Chimps was committed to helping me make the transition from the human world to the chimp world – while at the same time letting me set my own pace and limits. Thankfully, I found a friend and companion in Ron – a big, gentle chimp rescued from the Coulston Foundation, who sadly has since passed away. Then I had the opportunity to foster an infant chimpanzee, Melody, and am a loving mother to her. Over time, I became more sociable and my group grew and grew, and today I live with more than 20 other chimpanzees, including three former pet chimpanzees like myself.
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