In Loving Memory
Peggy, one of the grande dames of Save the Chimps, passed away on August 20, 2011, at the age of 48. Affectionately nicknamed “Peggy Sue” by her caregivers, Peggy was beloved by both chimpanzees and humans. Her dignity, strength, and capacity to forgive were core strengths of her character that serve as an inspiration to us all.
The trials that Peggy endured in her life at the hands of humans could have turned her against her new caregivers forever. But she accepted us with grace and kindness, and enjoyed the positive changes in her life. Peggy became a member of the first complete chimpanzee family to migrate to Florida, which came to be known as Alice’s Group. Peggy was instrumental in the success of this family, which was composed of chimps who had traumatic pasts and little social experience. She became an adoptive mother to young Elway and Pamela, guiding them as if they were her own children. Jeffrey fell in love with her (although his passion may have been unrequited.) She developed deep and abiding friendships with fellow LEMSIP veterans Carrie, Thelma, Melissa, and Tash. She was especially connected to Carrie. When Carrie passed away, her ashes were scattered on the island, near her favorite tree and platform. Afterwards, Peggy went out onto the island and immediately visited these spots and began crying. We have never witnessed such behavior before or since.
If you knew Peggy Sue, then you’d know why I feel blue, about Peggy,