Today's the day! For a minimum donation of $10 today, you can help the chimpanzees at Primarily Primates sanctuary sleep under the stars! All money raised before midnight will go directly toward purchasing windows and skylights for their bedrooms.

It's quick and easy to donate. Just click here to get started!

Thank you so much for your support! Read our story below to learn more about the life of one of the many chimpanzees you will be assisting with your donation.

Rudy has come a long way from his life in 1983 when Primarily Primates first learned about him. Rudy was initially enslaved by the entertainment industry, and was a frequent performer on the Johnny Carson Show and other popular television programs. He was then sold to a circus, where he was placed in a side show.

There, he lived his life in a tiny steel cage (pictured below with a staff member), where he was barely able to move; people paid money to gawk at him and feed him junk food, beer and cigarettes—all in the name of entertainment. That experience left Rudy deathly afraid of people, especially children. Rudy was even scared of sunlight, because he hadn’t been exposed to it. A rescue group eventually got involved, and wanted to save Rudy. They contacted every rescue group and humane organization they could think of, and constantly got the same advice: ‘euthanize him.’

But they persevered.

Primarily Primates was the first and only organization to offer a life-long home for Rudy, and end the vicious cycle of exploitation to which he had become accustomed. Rudy was the very first chimpanzee to come live at Primarily Primates in 1983, so you could say he’s the godfather of our chimpanzee program. We’re now home to 43 chimpanzees.

The Rudy of today is quite different, 32 years later. He’s known as one of our smartest residents, as he likes to try to trade care staff toys and other goods for some persimmons that grow above his habitat, but out of reach. He shares with his home with his best friend Josie, who’s very protective of Rudy. He has a very special relationship with one of his care staff, too, and every morning during the breakfast round, they dance for one another.

In many ways, Rudy is the embodiment of everything we do at Primarily Primates, as he’s the quintessential example of someone who’s been “rehabilitated.” In more human words, he changed because he’s been given love, dignity, respect and autonomy—things he never knew.