Pozna, the youngest of the PRC chimps, was born on August 10, 1995, at LEMSIP, a biomedical research laboratory in New York. Separated at birth from her mother, she was raised in a nursery-like setting by human caretakers. This was extremely hard on Pozna, who as a young chimp clung tightly to her close friend, Jenny.
At the PRC, the two were inseparable for a long time, and spent their days frolicking and napping in the Play Room. They liked that room so much, in fact, that they often refused to leave in the evenings, making it impossible for us to clean. Part of this behavior was likely due to their uneasiness with the adult females, who were not as accepting of the young LEMSIP girls as they were of male newcomers Ike, Rodney, and Cory.
As these girls have aged, however, they’ve become more confident and less dependent on each other. But Pozna still prefers a big straw nest in the Play Room to the open space outdoors or the hammocks in the Night Room.
As the youngest of the chimps, Pozna still acts like the baby of the group. She craves human attention, and the big windows into the Play Room from the kitchen provide a safe opportunity for staff to interact with her. She happily mimics movements of hands and arms, looks at herself in mirrors, and shows off her teeth and tongue to anyone who’ll stay to watch. Because she is so friendly and engaging, volunteers often fall in love with Pozna and may spend hours glued to the glass. She also loves to flirt with human boys, and will show off for them to get their attention.
Pozna has more obvious mood swings than the other chimps, and sometimes gets upset with the caretakers for simply asking her to move to a certain area—even when a treat awaits her for complying. Although she doesn’t possess the same skills as her sharpshooter friend Jenny, Pozna will also try to spit on the caretakers to get their attention. Even when she misses the mark, her ploy tends to be effective.