I was born January 8, 1999 to my mother Elaine and father Alf at the Coulston Foundation, a research lab in Alamogordo, NM. I had a twin sister named Leia. Leia was allowed to remain with Elaine, but I was taken from her to be raised in the laboratory nursery. I never saw my mother or sister again. Elaine and Leia were eventually sent to the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, NM. I was fortunately never used in biomedical research protocols.
I was a member of a group of nine frightened chimpanzee babies who were living together when Save the Chimps took over the Coulston Foundation in 2002. Lacking the comfort and protection of our mothers, we would cling to each other, rocking in anxiety. Over time, all of the young chimps were placed into family groups, where we were doted on by the adult chimps.
In 2007, I made a cross-country journey to a new island home in Florida. I had never felt grass under my feet before, but I soon learned the joys of running up and down hills, and basking in the warm Florida breezes. Today, I am a strapping chimpanzee in the prime of life who has proven to be a wonderful leader of my family, known as Kiley’s Group.
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