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Jenny was born on May 19, 1995, at LEMSIP, a former biomedical research laboratory in New York. Separated at birth from her mother, she was raised in a nursery-like setting by human caretakers. This was particularly hard on young Jenny, who clung tightly to her close friend, Pozna.
Jenny and Pozna were pretty much inseparable, and spent their days cavorting and napping in the PRC’s Play Room. They liked that room so much, in fact, that they often refused to leave in the evenings, making it impossible for us to clean. Part of this behavior was likely due to their uneasiness with the adult females, who were not as accepting of the young girls as they were of Ike, Rodney, and Cory. Eventually, however, leaving the Play Room turned into a game for Jenny: she would hang out in the cross-over tunnel, then race back to the room in “Indiana Jones” fashion, rolling under the door as it was being lowered.
As Jenny and Pozna grew up, they stopped clinging to each other and gained confidence around the older females. And as their positions in the troop solidified, they also developed relationships with Donald, the group’s dominant male.
Jenny has always enjoyed playing pranks on humans (one of her favorites is to get a mouthful of water and wait for an unsuspecting caretaker to walk close by), so we work hard to give her opportunities for silliness and play, without putting ourselves in jeopardy. Playing “chase” alongside the outdoor enclosure is a longtime favorite game for Jenny, and an easy way for volunteers to safely interact with her and be rewarded with a big, open-mouthed play face. She also loves shoes, and often motions for caretakers to show her their shoes, sometimes even “crying” when she wants a closer look. Although the smallest of the PRC’s chimps, Jenny doesn’t back down when another troop member picks on her. She’ll chase down the offender and stand up for herself if Donald isn’t around to set things straight.
|Size||4 to 5.5 feet, 70 to 130 pounds|
|Average Lifespan||35-40 years in the wild
50-60 years in captivity
|Notable Features||Long, powerful arms for climbing in trees; on the ground, they walk upright or on all fours, using their knuckles for support|
|Diet||Omnivore, but partial to fruit|
Chimpanzees are humans' closest living relatives, sharing an estimated 94 percent of our DNA. In the wild, these empathetic and intelligent mammals live in large social groups called communities. Because of habitat loss, hunting, and poaching of babies for the pet trade, chimps are classified as endangered.