Rescued: 1996

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.

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...

Join our Primate Pal Family

Get to know one of the PRC residents while supporting their daily needs through a symbolic adoption. As a nonprofit sanctuary, our fundraising efforts can never cease! Although we are incredibly grateful that each resident at the PRC now has a Pal, we will always...

Sharing the Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! At the Primate Rescue Center, we are so fortunate to have supporters who show us love. Whether it’s by sharing our social media posts, donating to our fundraisers or sending goodies for the primates – we feel the love! We are so grateful and...

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...

Unbreakable Bond

Zulu Chimpanzee is a former pet from Georgia who arrived at the PRC in 1998 as part of the Dahlonega Five. In this former pet situation, Zulu, along with Donald, Hazel, Victoria, and Debbie, was confined to a small, windowless concrete bunker for more than a decade...

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...

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...

A Splashtastic Summer!

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...

Spring Fever

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...

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...