Rescued: 1998

Donald’s exact age is a mystery, since pet chimps were usually wild-caught in the 1960s and early ’70s, rather than bred in the United States. For all we know, he still has memories of his mother’s death and his subsequent kidnapping in an African forest, followed by the long and frightening trans-Atlantic shipment to a dealer in America.

Call it anthropomorphic, but those of us who know Donald use the term “gentleman” to describe him. For years, he was the only adult male (and by default the dominant male). Unlike some primate leaders, Donald has never been brutal; instead, he has exerted his authority by intervening during fights or by pairing with the most desirable females. Still, he becomes upset with unnecessary violence in his group and always accepts submissive gestures from his troop members to resolve the issues. He is always willing to work with his human caregivers, and seems to understand that we truly have his troop’s best interests in mind. For example, he readily moves from one area of the enclosure to the next for cleaning, and will chase the others out, as well.

One of Donald’s favorite pastimes is to stay outside during the early evening and into the night. Perhaps he feels better able to protect his troop while outdoors, or maybe he just likes the view of the moon and stars. Whatever the reason, the expanded outdoor enclosure has really benefited Donald.

As Donald ages, the younger male chimpanzees have begun to challenge him—either by starting fights with the girls or by brazenly hooting and stomping. Ike has become an especially challenging character for Donald; as he gets bigger and stronger, the disputes between him and other group members may cause unrest. It’s inevitable that Donald will eventually cede authority to one of the younger fellows, and we hope that his successor will also be a gentleman.

Chimpmas Time is Here!

It’s that time again… The apes and monkeys have been good all year and are hoping that their Chimpmas wishes will come true! Everyone thought long and hard about what they would love most this year and we have put together their list here. Many of the items they...

The Social Primate

In general, primates are social animals. There are many benefits for being a part of a social system, one being protection. Of course, there are some exceptions to this general principle, for instance, the male orangutan, perhaps for the purpose of restraining the number of members competing for the same recourses, but this is not a common theme among the primate order.

Chimpmas Day Festivities Wrap Up

Thanks to our generous donors, Primate Pals and friends of the PRC who donated tons of toys, gifts and tasty snacks, the chimps and monkeys had an awesome time last month opening all of their presents on “Chimpmas” day.

Have a Very Merry Chimpmas!

It's our favorite time of year - Chimpmas is almost here! The chimps thought long and hard about what they wanted to ask for, and we have compiled their list here. Take a look at their wish lists, and maybe you can make a Chimpmas wish come true!

Happy World Chimpanzee Day!

Today is World Chimpanzee Day – a day to celebrate all chimpanzees, wild and captive. We want to spend today highlighting and honoring the nine chimpanzees who call the PRC home! Each chimp is a unique individual with their own likes, dislikes and interests, and we...

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

The Primate Rescue Center’s Off-Site Volunteer Program is a great opportunity for volunteers near or far of all age ranges who love apes and monkeys. Off-Site Volunteers participate in providing excellent care and enriching experiences to the PRC residents by...

Reading into the Chimpanzee

A primatology book analysis and comparison to the PRC's chimps by Taylor Luken. Five to seven million years ago in Africa, humanity (Homo sapiens) and the African great ape known as the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) ceased sharing common ancestors. Our evolutionary...

Large and in Charge!

Chimpanzees are very social animals who live in large groups in the wild. They recognize and respect a hierarchy and each group usually consists of a dominant male, several high-ranking females, some younger subordinate males and females and juveniles. The PRC is...

Happy Birthday, Donald!

Our Alpha male, Donald, celebrated his 43rd birthday last week, and we threw him a pirate-themed birthday party! For each chimp's birthday, we pick a theme and throw them a big party to celebrate. They love walking into a room full of new and interesting...