Hello my name is
I am a Capricorn.
My Favorite Things
- My Family
Cayenne’s Big Island Adventure
Sometimes it just takes a little time and a few encouraging friends along the way. Care staff rejoiced recently to see resident chimpanzee Cayenne venture far out onto her three-acre island. The reason the care staff was jumping for joy at the sight was because since 37-year old Cayenne was rescued from biomedical research and brought to Save the Chimps, it was her first big adventure outside far onto the island. Having spent her first 20 years in a suspended 5’x5’x7’ steel cage, Cayenne never experienced the outdoors before coming to Save the Chimps. As a result, she has always been hesitant to venture far from the island habitat house where the chimps are given enrichment activities and food. “Sometimes she would make it onto the grass that is adjacent to the building, but she always would return to the outdoor patio,” explains Chimp Behavior & Welfare Manager Amanda Bania. “We meet our chimps where they are at –some suffer residual post traumatic stress from the years of biomedical procedures – imagine not having ever seen grass, nevermind feeling it on your toes!” added Bania. “Our care program allows the chimps the freedom to recover at their own pace, with Cayenne, it took her a little longer to enjoy being out on the island. We are so proud of how far she has come!” A big pant-hoot of thanks to YOU — our wonderful supporters year in and year out who have given these chimps a chance to recover and regain their freedom on their own terms (Dr. Noon was famous for saying all they need from us is a chance!). And big thanks to our patient and thoughtful care staff and to Cayenne’s close friends, Tarzan, Indie and Terry, who encouraged Cayenne in her gradual recovery journey!
Click for photos of Cayenne
I was born December 27, 1982. My parents are unknown, but I was believed to have been born at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Bastrop, TX. When I was just over a year old, I was sent to the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) in New York State. I remained there for the next 12 years. While there, I lived alone in a suspended 5’x5’x7’ steel cage and never saw the outdoors. I endured approximately 320 “knockdowns” in which I was darted with ketamine in order to anesthetize me for anything from biomedical research protocols to cage changes. I was also subjected to 40 liver biopsies. In 1996, LEMSIP closed and I was sent to The Coulston Foundation (TCF), a lab in Alamogordo, NM. At TCF I was used in two biomedical research protocols in which I continued to endure frequent “knockdowns.” However, unlike at LEMSIP, I was able to live with other chimps and go into outdoor cages at TCF. I became best friends with Indie, and we continue to live together to this day.
I was rescued by Save the Chimps in 2002, where I will never be used as a biomedical research subject again. I am a warm-hearted chimp with a strong stubborn streak. Because of my friendly nature, I live with Terry, a retired entertainment chimp who has a hard time living in a large chimpanzee family. But he adores Indie and me, and we are part of a small but happy family. I am a plump chimp who loves to eat and relax with my friends.