Donate in My Memory Hello my name is

Scarlett

Age 38
Birthday 11/9/1979
Rescued From Research

A Poem written in Scarlett’s honor by a friend of STC veterinarian, Dr. Bezner

Dear Scarlett,

Do you know how much you were loved?

Of course you do.

You were their favorite,

Which means a part of them goes with you

To keep you safe and happy

In all the ways they could and couldn’t do

At the Sanctuary, your final earthly resting place

Where you could finally, truly rest on this earth

With your chimpanzee and human friends  –

A piece of earth, a peaceful passage in your life,

Never perfect, but perfectly held in the hearts

Of those who loved you.

And guess what? Love is stronger than death;

It connects us forever,

And we become more perfect by virtue of it.

In Loving Memory

Personality

  • Independent
  • Flirtatious
  • Expressive
  • Brilliant

Favorite Things

  • Stuffed toys
  • Dried fruit
  • Mixed nuts

News Story

After 23 Years in a Lab, Scarlett the Chimp Now Enjoys a Life of Leisure and Freedom by Kristina Pepelko, One Green Planet

Video

Oh, Scarlett!

Our own volunteer, Bonnie, loved helping the chimpanzees so much that she recently became a full-time employee at Save the Chimps. She helps care for our special needs chimps, including Scarlett, who has a clear set of demands for Bonnie! Every morning when she brings Scarlett her morning smoothie, Bonnie has learned to talk to Scarlett first in a soothing voice – because if she doesn’t, Scarlett hides her eyes with her forearms and refuses her smoothie! Scarlett has several other preferences, such as eating her meals outside. She will only take her food in a certain spot in her outdoor play yard, making her caregivers come to her! Bonnie along with all of Scarlett’s caregivers are always happy to oblige. Each chimpanzee’s unique preferences and quirks are what make them special. Providing choices and freedom has a transformational effect on the chimpanzees, many of whom came from lives of deprivation. Scarlett and so many others thrive in sanctuary thanks to the work of our dedicated care staff.

Shop

Scarlett800Purchase a print on wood by Nathaniel Gold in the Portraits section of our gift shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlett March 2011 (2)

Click for photos of Scarlett 

Scarlett 1979-2016

Tomorrow May Rain so I’ll Follow the Sun

The Story of Ms. Scarlett

Scarlett was born on November 11, 1979 at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Within hours of her birth, Scarlett was taken from her mother and placed in the nursery. Like many nursery-reared infants, she suffered from frequent bouts of illness, including respiratory infections, diarrhea, and fevers that required isolating her from her comforting peers. When Scarlett was one year old, her ID number was tattooed onto her chest and she was sent to the National Institutes of Health to begin life as a test subject. She had six liver biopsies in preparation for her first study, then had bloodwork weekly to monthly for the next 3 years. She also had 55 intrusive punch liver biopsies with no pain relief noted in her laboratory records. Scarlett was returned to New Mexico in 1985, relocating to the Coulston Foundation, a notorious laboratory with the most Animal Welfare Act violations in history. For the next 6 years, she was used in multiple protocols that required frequent blood tests and liver biopsies. She lived alone for the most part, but was occasionally housed with a female chimp named Sierra.

In 2001, Scarlett began having seizures, but she was not treated for them until Save the Chimps rescued her and 265 other chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation in 2002.
We quickly learned that Scarlett was a very intelligent and strong-willed chimpanzee, and that her “rages” were actually caused by a lack of control over her own environment. Once we understood what Scarlett needed, her episodes of self-mutilation subsided and her true personality emerged – we discovered that Scarlett was sweet, loving, and funny. She tolerated male chimps, but absolutely adored male humans. She had all human visitors under her spell and always had a clear set of demands – sometimes wanting to sit quietly, other times wanted to be groomed and scratched with a tickle stick. She was quick to reprimand anyone who didn’t follow her direction!When Scarlett became old enough to breed, she was introduced to male chimps, but was very intimidated by them. A note in her laboratory record during this time reads, “She presses her brow in the cage bars and cries like she is depressed.” After conceiving, Scarlett was socialized with other females who were about to give birth in hopes that she would learn how to care for offspring. She gave birth to a healthy boy named Joey on August 24, 1997, but sadly Scarlett never picked up any mothering skills from the other females. Joey was taken away from her to be raised in the laboratory nursery. Meanwhile, Scarlett had post-partum complications that required surgical attention. A month after her surgery, she was reported to have emotional distress exhibited by self-mutilation and “fits of rage.” Lab workers spoke out for her, concerned about her abnormal behavior, but according to her records it was not addressed. Scarlett gave birth to a second baby, Jude, on October 23, 1999. Again, her baby was removed to be nursery-reared. Scarlett had more complications following the birth of Jude, requiring three surgical interventions. This was Scarlett’s last pregnancy.

ScarletOne mid-morning in 2008, we found Scarlett on the floor partially paralyzed. An MRI showed an area of bleeding in her upper spinal cord. Because we were not present at the time, we do not know for sure what happened, but she may have had a seizure or just hit her head on the back of a perch. This wonderful, beautiful lady was an excellent patient, always so tolerant of us constantly fussing over her to make sure she did not develop bedsores, infections, or other complications that come with not being able to move. Slowly, over months, she regained function of her limbs and eventually was able to knuckle walk again, but never regained all of her strength. She had been a member of Bobby’s family, but we were concerned about putting her back with her entire family because we knew how rambunctious the male chimps could be. Instead, she lived next to her family and we rotated friends in and out to visit with her. One thing we all knew she needed, and gave her, was outdoor access, as she was she was the ultimate sun worshipper! As the earth rotated on its axis, Scarlett had a look of peace and serenity on her face as she followed the warmth of the rays. Eventually, we realized she preferred only a few chimps with her, so we moved her to our Special Needs Facility with her friends Millie, Geraldine, and Abdul, all of whom had emotional or medical concerns that prevented them from living in a large group. Garrey, who suffered from herniated discs in his back, soon followed.

Scarlett 2016The last day of Scarlett’s life was an ordinary day. She relaxed in the sun with her friends, ate three great meals of fresh fruits and vegetables brought to her by her favorite caregivers, and had lots of visitors. Soon after dinner, she died in her sleep. We witnessed the other chimpanzees say their goodbyes by gently holding her hands and sitting next to her, then we called the entire staff to let them know. It was an unexpected death with no obvious cause, but we hope to understand more once we receive her pathology reports. In the meantime, each time we pass by the Special Needs Facility we think of Scarlett sitting in the sun, waiting to greet us with her unique and excited call. She will always be in our hearts, and has left us her two beautiful sons, Jude and Joey, who are just as sweet and wonderful as she was.

We promise to take care of your friends who call Save the Chimps home, until it is their time to join you.

We love you.

donate-in-my-memory

Join us in remembering Scarlett by making a donation in her memory.