Rescued: 1996

Ike was born on June 6, 1994, at LEMSIP, a former biomedical research laboratory in New York. Like many chimpanzees bred for research, he was separated from his mother at birth and raised by humans, along with other chimps, in a nursery-like settings. Ike bonded closely with the other infants, especially Noelle and Rodney. These three learned to comfort one another by huddling together in a “train”—stomach to back—when frightened or under stress, as they had no mother to turn to.

As they’ve matured together here, they no longer race into “train” formation if upset; instead, they comfort one another with such conventional means as outstretched arms, hugs, or mouthing behaviors. As Ike has grown into a strong young adult, his confidence has also increased. He seems to know that as Donald (the dominant male) ages, his chances are good for claiming that top position. His standing is further bolstered by the younger females, many of whom support him. It is fascinating for us to watch as the young chimps reach adulthood and the social dynamics shift. We’re particularly anxious to see if Ike, the second-oldest male, does indeed claim the dominant position, or if Rodney or Cory challenge him.

Ike’s athletic build, tall stature, and 140 pounds of pure muscle make him an intimidating presence (in the wild, the larger male chimps typically weigh 90 to 100 pounds). He is often uninterested in interacting with the caretakers or other chimps, but is sometimes observed “testing” the strength of the caging by pounding on the bars with his long arms to make his presence known.

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...

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Reading into the Chimpanzee

A Mother’s Love

When we think of Mother’s Day, it’s usually a day to spend time with mothers and show them our appreciation and love. But not everyone is that lucky. Human, ape, and monkey alike, some of us aren’t able to be with our mother on this special day. Most primates...

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A Mother’s Love

Merry Chimpmas!

If you follow the Primate Rescue Center on social media, you probably know that every year around Christmas we like to put together a “Chimpmas list” for the chimps! This year the chimps thought long and hard about what they would like, and then...

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Merry Chimpmas!

The Importance of Grooming

Whether in the wild or in captivity, chimpanzees and monkeys spend a large portion of their time grooming one another. Grooming is not only a great way to keep everyone clean and comfortable, it is also a great way to build and maintain good relationships within a...

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The Importance of Grooming

The LEMSIP Chimps

In 1996, New York University made the decision to close down the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine & Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP), which at the time housed nearly 200 chimpanzees and an even larger number of monkeys. All the animals needed to be...

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The LEMSIP Chimps