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Stories of Chimpanzees

Stories of Chimpanzees

Meet some of the amazing chimpanzees who inspire the dedication of Project R&R. As chimpanzees are rescued from laboratory research, their stories can finally be told by the voices of former laboratory or current sanctuary caregivers who are part of and witness to their rehabilitation. These are their stories, offering heartbreaking, moving, and humorous glimpses into their lives, personalities, and relationships.


Arthur & Phoenix

Arthur & Phoenix

From cage to stage to rescue!

The revolving door through which chimpanzees have been sold or abandoned from entertainment into research labs (see Butch and Chipper) has swung both ways. Laboratories have sold chimpanzees into entertainment, as was the case with Arthur (a.k.a. Ennio) and Phoenix. There…More Information…


Billy Jo

Billy Jo

The chimpanzee who won everyone’s heart

Feb. 14, 2006 – Chambly, Quebec – Billy Jo, a chimpanzee who endured hundreds of procedures in a research lab before finally being rescued into sanctuary, died suddenly at the age of 37 after only eight years at the Fauna Foundation sanctuary.…More Information…


Butch & Chipper

Butch & Chipper

A long and winding road

Butch and Chipper traveled a long and winding road—from their birthplace in Africa, to a circus in the U.S., to a lab in New Mexico, and to a zoo in Florida. They had only one more stop after that—arriving at sanctuary. Although their…More Information…


Dana

Dana

The matriarch

Dana, who spent much of her life having her babies taken from her for research, later became the matriarch of a chimpanzee group at Save the Chimps sanctuary.

During her many years in research, Dana was primarily used for breeding. Chimpanzees in lab breeding programs…More Information…


Ham

Ham

Where no man has gone before

On January 31, 1961, the first “chimponaut,” a three-year-old named Ham, rocketed into space in a Mercury Redstone rocket. Ham was NASA’s involuntary space pioneer who was forced to go where no human had gone.

Despite the celebrity that followed, this…More Information…


Hanzie

Hanzie

A silent grieving

Hanzie was shipped to the U.S. where he spent the next few years at a now defunct tourist attraction in California. In 1965, when he had outgrown his usefulness to the tourist attraction, he was sent to the Holloman Air Force Base to be used…More Information…


Jaybee

Jaybee

The comforts of home

Jaybee sat alone in his indoor enclosure, with a perfect circle of monkey chow biscuits surrounding him. He was found that way by Dr. Carole Noon when she returned to the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico after all of its chimpanzee research subjects,…More Information…


Jeannie

Jeannie

Ch. 562*: Too much for too long

Fauna Foundation’s director Gloria Grow has asked us to let our Web site visitors and supporters know that on January 1, 2007, her beloved Jeannie died. She was 31 years old. Gloria stayed very close by her as Jeannie began to show some very concerning symptoms. She had round…More Information…


Jerom

Jerom

Ch-499*: One of a kind

Jerom was one of a kind—not only was he the youngest chimpanzee ever infected with HIV (at 2 years, 8 months) at Yerkes National Primate Research Center (Yerkes), but he is also the only chimpanzee to die from an AIDS-related illness.

Jerom was born, and lived, and died…More Information…


Pepper

Pepper

Ch. 454*: The simple things

Pepper spent 27 years in research labs, where she marked time staring blankly between the bars of her cage. Finally, Pepper was retired to sanctuary at Fauna Foundation where, rather than staring out of a lab cage, she spent much of her time sitting by a chimpanzee-proof bay window,…More Information…


Sue Ellen

Sue Ellen

Ch. 440*: Human betrayal

Sue Ellen and her chimpanzee companion, Billy Jo, were said to have been walked into the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) holding hands with their trainer. He was just one in a long line of humans who betrayed her.

Sue Ellen spent…More Information…


Tom

Tom

Tom Ch. 411*: An ambassador

Senior, stately, a pillar of Fauna Foundation, and Project R&R’s chosen Ambassador for all chimpanzees still languishing in labs, Tom will never be forgotten. He earned the respect, admiration and love of all who met him. He has been a figurehead for Project R&R’s outreach, his poignant photograph…More Information…


Wenka

Wenka

Ch. 170*: 50+ years in a lab...still counting

[Wenka] was old and grateful for the small kindnesses, like good fruit and sunshine. … It would be nice if she could be retired and live out her days quietly with other older chimps, enjoying good food, soft bedding, and warm sunshine.

        —A former Yerkes…More Information…


Yoko

Yoko

Ch. 353*: True colors

When Nancy Megna worked the night shift at the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP), she greeted each of the chimpanzees, including Yoko. But, unlike most of the other chimpanzees who were hungry for attention, Yoko would never come down from his tire bed,…More Information…