Ike arrived at the PRC in 1996 with a group of 6 other young chimpanzees rescued from a now-closed biomedical research lab in New York (LEMSIP). Ike and his chimpanzee friends were all under the age of 5 years old when they arrived at the PRC. These youngsters were fortunate to be joined by a group of adult chimpanzees rescued from a private pet situation to form a diverse and dynamic chimpanzee troop who have now lived together for nearly 20 years. Growing up, Ike was always closest with his best friend Noelle, one of the other chimps rescued from LEMSIP. This friendship has lasted and blossomed into their adulthood. These two are often seen napping, grooming, or playing together. Noelle follows Ike around at mealtimes in hopes that their close bond may influence Ike to share his bounty of treats – and she is often disappointed.
Ike is a very strong and large male, weighing more than 140 pounds of pure muscle. He is the most athletic of the chimpanzee troop and is quite impressive to watch maneuver around all of his enclosure areas. He regularly reaches his maximum running speed in his outdoor enclosure and probably tops out at 25-30 mph as well as effortlessly brachiates, swings and launches himself from one firehose rope to the next. He loves to play with large balls (basketballs and soccer balls) by throwing them high into the air as part of his big pant-hoot displays. This is also how he prefers to crack open his coconuts (his favorite treat). Ike requires extra calories in his diet to keep up with his high activity level and his increased metabolism. He is provided a variety of supplements in addition to his regular meals, including peanut butter sandwiches and yummy protein shakes!
Many caregivers and volunteers describe Ike as aloof and laid back because he is often not bothered by anything. He doesn’t get his feelings hurt if he is left out of a play session between Rodney and Cory – we can’t say the same about Rodney and Cory who like to cause trouble and aggravate Vicky and Zulu when they aren’t included. He doesn’t try to steal food from anyone or commandeer another chimp’s elaborately constructed nest (ahem…Martina). Ike knows how to play gently with the older gals, but he can also get rough and tumble with the boys. Ike’s personality type has made him Donald’s (the alpha male of the troop) perfect candidate for his second in command. Ike assists Donald with the various duties involved in leading a chimpanzee troop. Ike will often settle smaller disputes among the group while leaving the larger disagreements for Donald to manage. He also spends a great deal of time increasing the bonds he has with each individual through grooming, playing and generally hanging out.
We calculate that is costs at least $40 per day to provide high-quality care to each chimpanzee. Multiply that by 9 chimpanzees and it certainly starts to add up quick! Ike’s care costs are increased due to the additional nutritional items he regularly receives. You can join us in making a difference in Ike’s life by becoming his Primate Pal! 100% of your sponsorship will go towards helping provide Ike with his favorite food and enrichment items such as nuts, kongs, basketballs, coconuts, and protein shakes!