I was born in Sierra Leone in approximately 1972 and captured to be sent to the United States for research. I spent nearly 30 years being bounced from one laboratory to another until 2000 when I was officially retired to the Wild Animal Orphanage, a sanctuary in Texas. While there, I lived with my best friends Andrea, Mona, and Stu. Over time, WAO found themselves in a financial situation in which they felt it was necessary to close and began to reach out to other sanctuaries to find homes for their chimpanzees and other residents.
Save the Chimps stepped in and we found ourselves on a ride from The Lone Star State to the Sunshine State. I was part of a tight-knit trio of old ladies for many years. My two best friends, Andrea and Mona, liked jumping in the middle of the chimp drama happening in the group. A few years ago, I had a stroke. Although I made a remarkable recovery, the incident left me in a fragile state and the decision was made to restrict my time with the more rambunctious males in the group who might accidentally hurt me during their powerful physical displays. Knowing I love my hammocks, my caregivers hung one lower to the ground to make it easier for me to climb in and out. I wanted nothing to do with this special accommodation and instead prefer the hammocks hung at normal height.
One thing that keeps me young in spirit and at heart is my relationship with Rebel, a gentle soul who has a long history of taking special care of chimps as they get older. He is exceptionally patient and understands how to be careful so as not to accidentally hurt aging chimps who are a bit more delicate. Me and Rebel love to tickle and laugh, playfully grabbing each other’s feet and being silly together. This wonderful friendship is good for both of us and heartwarming for staff to watch.
- The Indoors