I am one of the oldest residents and was probably born in Africa. I ended up at the Institute for Primate Studies in Oklahoma; when that facility closed, I was transferred to the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) in New York State. There I lived for at least 15 years in a 5’ x 5’ x 7’ cage suspended off the ground. I endured frequent anesthesia delivered by a dart gun, and numerous liver biopsies. When LEMSIP closed in 1996, I moved to a third laboratory, The Coulston Foundation, which was at the time the largest chimpanzee research laboratory in the world. In 2002, Coulston declared bankruptcy, and Save the Chimps rescued me.
In 2006, an echocardiogram revealed that I had a failing heart. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in captive male chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, but is rarely seen in the wild.
Care and medications, are enabling me to live a normal life. I am the patriarch of Ron’s Family (named after the late Ron, who like me came from LEMSIP and had heart disease), which includes several energetic youngsters who keep me on my toes. I love to be out on the island with my family and I have not slowed down.
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