November 15, 2018
By Brooke Chavez
Our hearts our heavy today because chimpanzee Beau, who lived at Primarily Primates for 22 years, passed away on Wednesday.
He was surrounded by his caretakers, veterinarian and myself. Beau had a history of cardiac problems and had been on medication to address those health issues.
Beau was released from the Buckshire Corporation in 1996 after he was exploited by numerous invasive research studies. Since he was captured in the wild as an infant, his estimated year of birth was 1969.
Beau will be painfully missed by staff, volunteers and his many sponsors who adored his funny personality. I will always remember Beau as the sanctuary comedian because he liked to amuse people by flipping his lower lip, dancing, somersaulting and spitting.
While he was a prankster, his habitat companion, Wanda, was the brains of the relationship. They lived together for more than a decade.
I remember when I created a fishing board enrichment for them, Beau just sat there as Wanda, within minutes, completely engineered a capture tool out of bamboo to collect the food treats that were in cups placed three feet away from their enclosure. After Wanda showed him how to do it, he decided to use his bamboo stick instead to lift up caretaker’s shirts and pants as they walked by, and would sneak some of Wanda’s “fishing” treats when she wasn’t looking. He was always animated and plotting and scheming new ways to get attention.
Beau and Wanda’s bond was undeniable—they were always seen foraging together for enrichment treats and grooming each other. On sunny mornings, Beau would often climb to the very top of his 25 ft. tower, basking in the sunshine that he loved.
To make a donation in his memory, please click here.
Brooke Chavez is the Executive Director of Primarily Primates