I was born in 1973. I am castrated, know how to use utensils, and have been known to put on clothes; evidence that I spent my first years in the entertainment industry or as someone’s pet. From 1985 to 1995, I lived at the now-defunct Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) in New York. While at LEMSIP, I lived alone in a small barren cage where I was anesthetized with Ketamine over 150 times, had at least 19 liver biopsies, and had a lymph node removed. In 1996, when LEMSIP closed, I was sent to 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.
Upon taking over the property previously owned by the Coulston Foundation and the 266 chimpanzees kept there in September 2002, Save the Chimps’ founder Carole Noon, Ph.D. discovered me alone in a small cage making a “nest” out of leftover monkey chow. I was arranging the small biscuits in a circle around myself before lying down. Dr. Noon’s heart broke and she immediately gave me a bedsheet. I had ceased expecting both kindness from humans and the most basic physical comforts. I made a nest with the sheet and having no reason to expect I would receive another one, kept my sheet clean and dry, refusing to give it up for three days. Since Save the Chimps arrived in Alamogordo, I have not spent a single night without a cozy nest of blankets or a day without fresh fruit, access to quality on-site veterinarians, and loving and respectful care. It is now common to see me atop a pile of blankets, completely draped with only my face peeking out.
In July 2008, my family and I made a cross-country journey from Alamogordo to Save the Chimps’ Fort Pierce, Florida sanctuary. In Florida, I am free to run in the sunshine or cozy up under a tree with blankets close at hand. My caregivers seem to be happy that I have not slowed down much given my advanced age. I especially enjoy being on the island wrapped in a sheet when its cooler out. I’m still close to Lisa Marie until she grabs my hand to try to drag me into her silly chimp drama!
Jaybee’s good friend, Henrietta, passed away in 2018 due to age-related health complications. Henrietta’s best friend was Lupe, an elderly female who was not especially social with other group members besides Henrietta. We find it heartwarming to see that Jaybee has taken up the role of best friend to sweet Lupe. She waits for Jaybee to join her on the island in the mornings and sits with him during meals. That’s just Jaybee’s nature – he willingly fills any needed role, whether it’s protector, peacekeeper, or best friend. We look forward to Jaybee enjoying many more years of enriching the lives of everyone in his family group.
- Blankets and sheets
- My island platform, “The Saloon”
- Kiley and Lisa Marie
Lisa Marie welcomed by Kiley's Family
Save the Chimps History