I was born on June 29, 1993 at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Shortly after birth I was taken from my mother and sent to live in the laboratory nursery with the other babies to be raised by humans. When I was a year old, I was returned to my mom, Minnie, who accepted me as a daughter even though I was a virtual stranger. I was lucky to have lived with my mother in a social group.
My mother, Minnie, was somewhat famous. She was born in Africa in the 1950s, probably in Sierra Leone, and was kidnapped from her mother around the age of two. After her arrival at Holloman Air Force Base, Minnie trained for Project Mercury. She was one of the few females to undergo “couch training”, which was used to prepare chimps for space travel. Young Minnie was a candidate to be an “astrochimp”, but Ham and Enos were chosen instead. In 1972, Minnie was turned over to the breeding colony where she remained until her death. Sadly, Minnie died before she could be rescued by Save the Chimps.
I, however, traveled to Florida at the age of eight with other fellow Air Force chimp veterans and descendants of the space program. I was the baby of the group and was treated like (and acted like!) a princess. I have grown into a beautiful, dignified, adult female, but I still have a mischievous and playful side. No longer the youngest chimp in my family, I am now in the role of big sister to youngsters like Angie and JB. I look forward to enjoying many more years of happy retirement on my island home in Florida.