Donate Hello my name is

Clay

Age 31
Birthday 5/20/87
Rescued From Research

Member of
Special Needs

I am a Taurus.

My Personality

  • Loving
  • Energetic
  • Nurturing
  • Adorable
  • Teddy bear

My Favorite Things

  • Toy trucks
  • Noisy toys
  • Art supplies

My Enrichment

Clay and his love of Sloths

Clay is one of the most lovable, playful, and gentle chimpanzees I have had the pleasure of caring for. He lives in Special Needs, so the caregivers at Save the Chimps make an extraordinary effort to spend as much time with him as possible. Often he loves to dance and play chase with us, but sometimes he really loves a relaxing groom session. I get a tickle stick and groom his hair all over his body. His favorite spots are his head and chest. One day when our groom session seemed to be at an end I thought I’d take a minute and use my phone to show him some cute videos of cats on YouTube. He was very interested so I thought I would show him one of my favorite animals, a sloth. I found a video of baby sloths that are being taken care of at a sanctuary in Costa Rica. These orphaned sloths were in a bucket so their caregivers could transport them, and he was completely enthralled. I don’t know if he had ever seen a sloth before, but my impression was that he hadn’t. He immediately made an adorable high-pitched moan of interest, and his eyes were glued to the screen. I was so happy he loved them too so I found another video of the baby sloths that had music along with it. Clay was even more excited. He even stood up and gently bounced in place to the music, something he does when he’s happy to see us! Every time I see Clay it’s hard to pick which activity to do first, but I always show him a new video I’ve found with sloths and we gleefully watch together.

Janie GibbonsJanie Gibbons
Chimp Care Supervisor
Team member since 2011

 

Clay drinking Oct 2011

Click for photos of Clay

My History

I was born at the Coulston Foundation on May 20, 1987 to my father Mack and mother Jody. My mother was a good parent, but when I was only 10 hours old, I was taken from her and sent to be raised by humans in a laboratory “nursery.”

After that, I was almost continuously used in invasive biomedical research until 1999, when I was 12 years old. When I was only two years old, I was subjected to multiple research studies, which continued over the next several years. I was forced to endure frequent anesthesia with ketamine, blood draws, liver biopsies and injections with mysterious “test materials.” In one study, I had a lymph node surgically removed. I was also used in studies of the toxic effects of Theophylline (an anti-asthma drug), ibuprofen, and Lovastatin (a cholesterol-reducing drug), even though all of those drugs were already approved for use in humans before I was used in those experiments.

In 2002, the Coulston Foundation went bankrupt, and I was one of the chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps (STC). My records indicated that I had occasionally lived with at least one other chimp. However, when I was rescued, STC found me living in solitary confinement in a small dark cell in Building 300, known as “The Dungeon.”

I still bear the scars of my life of isolation and abuse at Coulston. STC tried many times to introduce me to other chimps, but I became extremely aggressive. My years of solitude and torment have mentally scarred me for life, and STC decided, to their dismay, that I can’t live with other chimps because I would pose a danger to them.

I live alone to this day, but I actually prefer it that way. Because I live alone, I get extra special attention from my caregivers at STC. I prefer the company of humans over other chimps. I love it when my caregivers sing to me. I enjoy a good game of chase, being tickled with tickle sticks, and watching the maintenance crew at work. I also enjoy painting and have produced some lovely masterpieces. I am grateful that my human friends accept me for who I am, scars and all.

Support this magnificent chimp by donating today.