Although Spock’s date and place of birth are unknown, laboratory records placed his year of birth as 1974 (however, he may have been older). All we know for certain is that in 1985, a chimpanzee named Doc was transferred from The Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania to The Coulston Foundation, a research laboratory in New Mexico. They changed Doc’s name to Spock and simultaneously entered him into the breeding program and assigned him to biomedical research studies. The studies to which Spock was assigned were highly invasive, some involving daily “knockdowns”, frequent drawing of blood, and delivery of unknown substances into his body via a stomach tube or injections.
In 2002, The Coulston Foundation went bankrupt, and Save the Chimps rescued Spock. He was living alone in a cement cell within a dismal building called “The Dungeon”—but soon all that changed. Spock joined Freddy’s Family, becoming friends with 25 other chimpanzees of all ages and genders. They moved to Florida and were released onto a spacious island.
Spock loved the outdoors and treasured every moment on the island, basking in the sun, relaxing under a tree, or socializing in the covered bridge.
Unfortunately, Spock began showing signs of advancing heart and kidney failure, and he soon received an echocardiogram that revealed a blood clot in his heart. Our veterinarians developed a specialized treatment plan, and Spock’s condition stabilized.
Thanks to the efforts of his veterinarians and caregivers, Spock remained bright and active for the final months of his life. On the morning of July 2, 2014, Spock experienced a sudden and peaceful passing on his island home. He was survived by his three children, Angie, Bart, and Grace, all residents of Save the Chimps.
Spock was the eldest male in Freddy’s Group, and a beloved friend to both chimpanzees and humans alike. One of his human friends, Glenna, recalls: “Spock was so easygoing, sometimes Cori-Lyn would take advantage of this and steal his food. [Don’t worry—we always have more standing by!] But when he was sick, Cori-Lyn seemed to understand this and never took anything from him. She really cared about him—they all did.”.
Spock is dearly missed, but we live knowing that he was thoroughly happy and well-loved in his final years. If you would like to send a Vulcan Salute up to Spock, please consider donating in his memory.
- The Outdoors