Sanctuary Life: 1996 – 2016
The passing of our sweet and playful chimpanzee Pozna was unexpected and a shock to our entire sanctuary staff, volunteers, and friends. Pozna rapidly developed a rare, untreatable condition. Our emergency veterinary team performed diagnostic medical exams and emergency surgery in hopes we could provide treatment, but her illness proved too extensive. Our hearts shattered when her beautiful soul had to leave us so suddenly and at such a young age.
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 caregivers. This was extremely hard on Pozna, who as a young chimp clung tightly to her close friend Jenny for comfort.
The PRC was able to provide sanctuary for Pozna and a group of other youngsters in 1996, including Pozna’s best friend, Jenny. The two were inseparable and spent their days frolicking and napping in the Play Room together. They liked that room so much, in fact, that they often refused to leave in the evenings so that we could clean the room and prep it with fresh bedding and food.
As Pozna grew older, her confidence grew, and she became less dependent on Jenny for comfort. However, she continued to prefer a big straw nest in the Play Room to the open space outdoors or the hammocks in the Night Room.
Pozna relished her human attention, and the big windows into the Play Room offered an excellent place for her to lovingly stick out her tongue and do a silly face for her caregivers. She also would ask for us to show her our hair, mouth, arms, etc., training us to present certain body parts much like we work with the chimps to check for injuries. Because she was so friendly and engaging, volunteers and interns often were able to learn to identify her first out of the group, and many would claim her as their favorite chimp. As an adult, she loved her life of leisure, and she was an expert nest builder, frequently creating massive nests out of paper, straw, stuffed animals, toys, and just about anything she could find.
Quite simply, Pozna was a sweet, intelligent, friendly, and happy chimpanzee and always seemed to have a little smile on her face. She left us with so many beautiful memories that her spirit will always be felt at the sanctuary. We are thankful that Pozna was able to live the majority of her life in happiness and comfort at the PRC, and we all feel so lucky to have known and loved her.