Thanks for the Memories, Jack



Save the Chimps has sadly bid farewell to a beloved gentleman, Jack, who passed away on April 12, 2014 due to cardiac disease. Jack was born on November 20 or 21, 1980 at the Institute for Primate Studies (IPS) in Norman, OK to his parents Vanessa and Ali. (Jack was a nephew to Nim Chimpsky, featured in the documentary Project Nim.) Jack’s birth name was Jacob, but over the years it morphed into Jack. Jack was transferred from Oklahoma to a circus act where he was trained to ride a tricycle. After Jack grew to be too large and dangerous for circus performances, he was sent to the Coulston Foundation, a research laboratory in Alamogordo, NM on August 12, 1989. A hand-written agreement stated that Jack was to be used as a breeder, and not be used for experimentation. That agreement was not honored. Jack was used in at least 5 different invasive research studies, and had multiple injections, blood tests, and biopsies. He also fathered one son, Taz.

In September 2002, Jack’s years of exploitation finally came to an end. He was rescued when Save the Chimps took over The Coulston Foundation. Jack was one of more than 4 dozen chimps living in isolation in “The Dungeon,” a dismal building of gray concrete and steel. Having lived for years with no blankets, toys, or chimpanzee friends, Jack soon became known for his love of a large cozy nest of blankets, and for his friendly demeanor towards both his human caregivers and other chimpanzees. He became a member of Seve’s Family, and with them moved to Florida to enjoy a new life on a beautiful and peaceful island.

JackOne of our most treasured photos of Jack shows him moments after being released onto his new island home, gazing upwards with a look of wonder on his face. He had known nothing but four walls and caging for so many years, and we can only imagine what his thoughts were as he looked upon the three acres of grass and hills that lay before him. Jack embraced his new-found freedom to run and play, often engaging in a game of chase with his buddy Ricky. He was a beloved member of his chimpanzee family, and was like a father to Chelsea, who adored him.

Jack was a charmer, and all if his caregivers were taken in by his expressive eyes and playful demeanor. He would nod enthusiastically in greeting whenever his caregivers arrived to serve his meals or clean his home. He liked to be sung to, and the tune “Jackie Blue” could often be heard when his veterinarian, Dr. Bezner, was around!

Jack collapsed suddenly of heart failure while he was being served lunch by his devoted caregiver, Amber, in the company of his chimpanzee friends Anna and J.R.

Thank you to all our supporters for providing Jack and all the hundreds of other chimps who call Save the Chimps home a peaceful and dignified retirement.  We have you to thank for making this possible.

Jack is deeply loved, and is deeply missed.

Rest in peace and run free, dear friend.

View a video tribute for this remarkable chimp.

Jack's Tribute Video

Make a donation in memory of Jack.


Remembering Ester

Dana and Ester

Last September Save the Chimps laid to rest Ester, one of Dr. Carole Noon’s beloved canine companions. An Australian shepherd, Ester was a “queen” of Save the Chimps, sharing the title with the late great Dana, one of the original Air Force chimps. Ester had been a friend to Dr. Noon since the early days of Save the Chimps, and was on hand to welcome the Air Force chimps to Florida.

Extremely intelligent and intuitive, Ester had a natural understanding of and rapport with chimpanzees. The chimps would toss her monkey chow, play chase with her, and squirt water right into her mouth! All this play took place at a safe distance, because Ester knew never to get too close to the chimps. She also knew when disputes between the newly-formed Air Force Group were serious, and when they were just minor family squabbles. If Ester started barking and running at the sound of chimps yelling and hooting, the staff knew that they should go check it out. If Ester remained quiet and ignored the sounds, the caregivers knew that they needn’t be concerned.

Ester also spent several years in New Mexico after Save the Chimps took over The Coulston Foundation. She patrolled the property, visited with the chimps, and knew when she was being called on the walkie-talkies the staff used to communicate with each other. She loved to run alongside the golf carts, and Dr. Noon often described Ester as the fastest dog she ever knew. If Ester was needed, all we had to do was call over the walkie-talkie, “Ester, come to Admin!” and she would immediately report to the administration building.

After Dr. Noon’s death, Ester and her best friend Thelma remained part of the Save the Chimps family, enjoying the sunshine and green fields of the sanctuary in Florida. As she entered what may have been her 13th or 14th year, Ester’s health began to decline. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her human and canine friends on September 2, 2013.

If dogs run free, then what must be

Must be, and that is all

True love can make a blade of grass

Stand up straight and tall

In harmony with the cosmic sea

True love needs no company

It can cure the soul, it can make it whole

If dogs run free

–Bob Dylan, “If Dogs Run Free”

Dr. Geza Teleki

Save the Chimps was saddened to learn of the death of primatologist Geza Teleki, 77, on January 6, 2014. Dr. Teleki was a dear friend to STC founder Dr. Carole Noon, and once served on Save the Chimps’ Board of Directors. Click here to learn more about Geza Teleki’s work on behalf of our fellow primates.