Effie the chimp’s life saved by a dream team

When obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lillian Jones first met Effie, a 28-year-old chimpanzee resident at Primarily Primates, she admits the animal was larger than she anticipated. But that didn’t deter her from wanting to perform a hysterectomy that would save the chimp’s life. “I decided right away that I would do the surgery,” Jones recalled. 

Effie needed a hysterectomy to remove large fibroid tumors. Unfortunately, the veterinarian who had performed this type of surgery at the sanctuary was no longer available. Effie needed a miracle…and she got something even better, a whole team of miracle workers, who performed the successful one-and-a-half hour procedure on March 20, 2015.

Effie was born at a research facility in San Antonio and then sold to the Coulston Foundation in 1998. Despite animal welfare violations, Coulston grew to be the largest holding of chimpanzees for biomedical research in the world. Before it was shut down, chimpanzees were used for toxicology, pre-clinical drug testing, as well as infectious disease research...naturally, Effie was quite shy and wary when she first came to the sanctuary. After the surgery, however, Effie was not only given a second chance at life, the surgery has made her much more outgoing! 

“Now Effie is seeking out attention,” Chavez said. “When I go to check on her, she will run into her bedroom and point to my pocket knowing I probably have something in there for her. She’s never done that before.” 

Effie is now looking for a sponsor! For a small amount each month, you can help provide food and enrichment to Effie by choosing her through our sponsorship program! Click here to sponsor Effie.