Donate Hello my name is

Virgil

Age 29
Birthday 6/20/89
Rescued From Research

Member of
Kiley’s Family

I am a Gemini.

My Personality

  • Friendly
  • Outgoing
  • Lovable
  • Adorable

When I met the other chimps, I gave every single one a great big hug. I love to run, which I was never able to do in a cage. I hear my human caregivers call me a “big teddy bear,” but I have no idea what they are talking about.

My Favorite Things

  • Dried fruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Mixed nuts

 

Virgil Feb 2013

Click for photos of Virgil

My History

I was born on June 20, 1989 in Alamogordo, New Mexico, at the Coulston Foundation, a now defunct laboratory with the most Animal Welfare Act violations in history. I was born to Annie and Rufus, but I was only allowed to stay with my mother for three days until I was sent to the laboratory nursery. In 1992, when I was only three years old, I was transferred from the nursery to live in isolation for one year and received 21 sedations with the drug ketamine in that time. I was put back into isolation in July of 1993, though it is unclear from my records how long I remained there. I was used in at least four research studies before I was 6 years old, and starting in 1995 I was sedated with ketaset every six to ten days for over two years.

In 2002, Save the Chimps rescued me and 265 other chimpanzees living at the Coulston Foundation. I now live in a large group called Kiley’s family and can often be seen roaming my expansive 3 acre island habitat with friends. Despite my past, I am an incredibly sweet chimpanzee who loves to greet and play with my caregivers. Although I lacked companionship at times in my youth, every day I make up for lost time by playing rambunctiously with chimpanzees and caregivers alike. When I see caregivers or visitors approaching my island habitat, I immediately come to socialize. I love to play chase and be tickled by caregivers with tickle sticks, which are used to safely play with the chimpanzees. Though I am quite dominant in my group, I also have a very soft, goofy side that no one can resist. I especially love playing with Lisa Marie, a young chimpanzee who was retired to Save the Chimps in 2015. I am often an excellent mediator during disputes between the other chimpanzees in my family group. I also love to eat! I become visibly excited at meal times and relish my fresh fruits and vegetables. It is hard for my caregivers to imagine me living in an isolation cell in the laboratory, because I find so much joy in spending time outside with my friends, and can be spotted most afternoons grooming and socializing on “the saloon,” a unique platform on my island that is reminiscent of the Old West. I have often been described as a “big teddy bear” by my caregivers – my large stature, adorable smile, and charming personality win the hearts of all who know me.

Help support the life I love and deserve by donating today.