In Loving Memory of April the 2nd


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of April the 2nd, an energetic, friendly chimpanzee who was rescued from the Coulston Foundation.

April and her good friend, Luisita

She was born on September 8, 1991, to Dee and Dave at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and remained with her mother for one year until she was taken away for research purposes. April the 2nd and other chimps were later transferred to the Coulston Foundation, a biomedical research laboratory in the same state. There, April the 2nd met six other young chimps, including her first girlfriends, Daphne and Luisita.

In September 2002, Save the Chimps rescued 266 chimps from Coulston, including April, her mother, her companions, and another young chimp, Belinda. Introductions were made to form family groups, and she was reunited with Sinbad, the first chimp she lived with after being separated from her mother a decade earlier. The entire group was transported to Florida in June 2006, where a lush 3-acre island home awaited. It was also at Save the Chimps that April became “the 2nd” to distinguish her from another, older April already residing at the sanctuary.

Lisa, Lauryl, and April

April the 2nd blossomed from a shy, reserved youngster into an outgoing teenager. She became best friends with Belinda, whose sassy, self-confident personality April adopted in part. While once intimidated by the rowdy boys in her new family, April developed close, mutually respectful friendships with the more powerful males in her group.

She also developed a love for her island, which gave her the freedom to energetically explore its grassy hills daily. Being very flexible, she would often stretch into what resembled yoga poses.

April interacted well with her human care technicians, something not possible while in the laboratory. Through an enriched life that included new, healthy foods, comfortable blankets, enrichment, and toys, she developed into her true self.

A child at heart, she enjoyed the company of two toddlers in the group, Leo and Maya. When April made a giant nest from blankets provided to the chimps and left to search for more, Maya would quickly jump in and adjust them to fit her much tinier size.

April, Rufus, and Ted

When April returned and saw Maya, rather than become upset, she would reach out to Maya with a big play face and tickle her until Maya couldn’t take it anymore and left the nest. As soon as April reorganized the blankets, she would often invite Maya back to snuggle with her.

April cherished family life and enjoyed spending time with her large chimpanzee family over the years. She quietly passed away during surgery, where it was discovered she had an untreatable medical condition. There was chimp family visitation, followed by human family visitation. April will be deeply missed. 


Make a donation in honor of April the 2nd.