I was born in 1999 at the Coulston Foundation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, a biomedical laboratory with the worst record of primate care in the history of the Animal Welfare Act. I was taken from my mother at birth. When I was very young, I was sold into the entertainment industry. I lived with three other chimps, including Sable (who lives with me at STC) and Angel (who now lives at the Center for Great Apes).
From the beginning, everyone knew that our days in “entertainment” were numbered. Only very young chimps can be coerced into performing, often by physical intimidation and abuse. By the time chimps are seven or eight years old, they are simply too big, smart and strong to control, and usually end up in biomedical laboratories or roadside zoos, where they spend the rest of their lives confined to cages.
In 2005, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on our behalf alleging violations of the California anti-cruelty statute and federal Animal Welfare Act. As a result of the lawsuit, Sable and I were returned to Save the Chimps (STC), where we both became members of Freddy’s family.
I was not yet a teenager when I first arrived in Florida, but since then I’ve grown into a striking adult with thick black hair and a handsome face. I am a rowdy, fun-loving guy who is full of energy and a bit of a goofball. I am very athletic, and enjoy painting and hanging out with my friends. Most of all, I love to run. One of my favorite games is to hide on my island waiting for the humans to drive a golf cart down the road. When they go by, I burst out of hiding and run along my island shoreline as fast as the golf cart. I always win the race!
Chimpanzee, Cody creating a masterpiece