I was born in 1987 at a now defunct biomedical research laboratory in New York State. I was taken from my mother, Pudding, at a very early age. In 1996 I was sent to the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico, a biomedical lab with the worst record of primate care in the history of the Animal Welfare Act. At laboratories, I lived alone in small dungeon-like cages for years. The only interactions I likely had was with the caretakers who anesthetized and subjected me to countless medical research experiments. In 2002, I was among 266 chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps from the Coulston Foundation.
I am extremely intelligent and energetic and extremely devoted to my best friends, Plum and Ursula. We are inseparable and do everything together. I love finding ways to get objects from the caregiver’s side of the building into the chimp areas, like using a stick to get the hose. I also enjoy enrichment that lets me use my talents, like puzzle boxes, where I have to bring food such as grapes or peanuts through a small maze with obstacles before being able to eat them. Since moving to Florida I have gotten used to wide-open spaces and am even often spotted high up in the oak trees – a sight that always brings a smile to the caregivers’ faces.
To support Tapioca and the hundreds of other chimpanzees in our care, donate today.