Donate Hello my name is

Clay

Age 33
Birthday 5/20/87
Rescued From Research

Member of
Special Needs

I am a Taurus.

My Personality

  • Loving
  • Energetic
  • Nurturing
  • Adorable
  • Teddy bear

My Favorite Things

  • Toy trucks
  • Noisy toys
  • Art supplies

My Enrichment

Clay and his love of Sloths

Clay is one of the most lovable, playful, and gentle chimpanzees I have had the pleasure of caring for. He lives in Special Needs, so the caregivers at Save the Chimps make an extraordinary effort to spend as much time with him as possible. Often he loves to dance and play chase with us, but sometimes he really loves a relaxing groom session. I get a tickle stick and groom his hair all over his body. His favorite spots are his head and chest. One day when our groom session seemed to be at an end I thought I’d take a minute and use my phone to show him some cute videos of cats on YouTube. He was very interested so I thought I would show him one of my favorite animals, a sloth. I found a video of baby sloths that are being taken care of at a sanctuary in Costa Rica. These orphaned sloths were in a bucket so their caregivers could transport them, and he was completely enthralled. I don’t know if he had ever seen a sloth before, but my impression was that he hadn’t. He immediately made an adorable high-pitched moan of interest, and his eyes were glued to the screen. I was so happy he loved them too so I found another video of the baby sloths that had music along with it. Clay was even more excited. He even stood up and gently bounced in place to the music, something he does when he’s happy to see us!

Clay drinking Oct 2011

Click for photos of Clay

My History

I was born at the Coulston Foundation on May 20, 1987 to my father, Mack, and mother, Jody. My mother was a good parent, but, when I was only 10 hours old, I was taken from her and sent to be raised by humans in a laboratory nursery.

I was continually used in invasive biomedical research during the first 12 years of my life. When I was only two years old, I was subjected to multiple research studies. I was forced to endure frequent anesthesia with ketamine, blood draws, liver biopsies, and injections with mysterious “test materials.” In one study, I had a lymph node surgically removed. I was also used in studies of the toxic effects of ibuprofen, theophylline (anti-asthma), and lovastatin (cholesterol-lowering), even though all of these drugs were already approved for use in humans before experiments were begun on me.

In 2002, the Coulston Foundation went bankrupt, and I was one of the chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps. My records indicate that I had occasionally lived with at least one other chimp. However, when I was rescued, Save the Chimps found me living in solitary confinement in a small dark cell in Building 300, known as “The Dungeon.”

Save the Chimps tried several times to introduce me to other chimps, but I was not ready. My years of isolation and abuse at Coulston have left some deep mental scars.

I currently live at Special Needs where I am able to interact with other chimpanzees through protective mesh. As much as I love special attention from my caretakers, I thoroughly enjoy grooming through the mesh with my chimp neighbors, playing chase with them in the yard, and even joining in the occasional game of tug-o-war. I am grateful that my human friends have not given up hope that I will one day be ready to live with another chimp and be a part of a family again.

Support this magnificent chimp by donating today.