Rodney was born on November 25, 1994, at the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP), a biomedical research laboratory in New York that has since been closed. Separated at birth from his mother, he was raised with other infant chimpanzees by human caretakers. Although such maternal deprivation is extremely difficult for a young primate, the big-eared, goofy-faced Rodney has always been a prankster and clown who’s good-natured with both humans and chimpanzees.
Growing up, Rodney had trouble discerning when his companions were not in the mood to play (he was always in the mood). He taunted and hassled them, throwing things their way or slapping the ground until they’d chase him (his antics were more annoying and obnoxious than aggressive or violent). Never mind if they were angry—it was all a game to him. During his early days at the PRC, Rodney was well taken care of by Zulu, who treated him as her own child: she played with him, defended him in spats, and even brought him into her nest at night.
Rodney and Ike have always been close friends, and often support each other when fights break out. But as the least dominant of the males, Rodney is often roughed up in disputes with the others, sometimes leaving him with painful cuts and gouges. All in all, though, he seems to be a happy chimp, and lets out memorable grunts of glee when new toys or treats are handed out.
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...Read More
The weather here in Nicholasville, KY has been scorching this summer! The primates love to cool off with tasty frozen treats, like homemade juice pops or frozen grapes, but their favorite way to beat the heat is with a pool party! Inside each monkey enclosure are...Read More
The chimps are kissing winter goodbye and embracing sun-filled days spent lounging, grooming and playing in their massive outdoor enclosure. What better way to ring in springtime festivities than by throwing the first outdoor chimp party of the season? Our...Read More
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...Read More