In Loving Memory of Iris, Garrey, and Tiffany

Posted in 11/09/2018

(Save the Chimps)

By Molly Polidoroff, Executive Director, Save the Chimps Sanctuary

Just this summer, we marked the first World Chimpanzee Day, a day set aside to celebrate our closest cousins. We at Save the Chimps have the honor of being part of the community that provides the best possible care as chimps are retired from laboratories, pet trade, and the entertainment industry.

Given their backgrounds, our chimpanzees come to us with various needs and capabilities. We treat our chimps as individuals – meeting them where they are at any moment and walking alongside. Our sanctuary provides the space and care for chimps to live out the rest of their lives in dignity; thus, we understand that loss is part of the very nature of our work, particularly given that nearly 30 percent of our population is elderly. As we do when our chimps pass, we want to honor each by sharing their individual stories. Sadly, we have lost three chimps since April – Iris, Garrey, and Tiffany – to a variety of illnesses. I share here a brief story of each and invite you to visit our website’s Tribute page to read more.

Iris, a.k.a “Miss Iris”

In 2015, Iris came to us after years in isolation at a small, unaccredited zoo. She was quiet upon arrival, but, her initial interest in Abdul, a male chimpanzee in a neighboring enclosure, blossomed into one of the most special relationships we have ever witnessed at the sanctuary.

Garrey a.k.a “Garre-bear”

Garrey was among the 266 chimpanzees rescued by Save the Chimps from the Coulston Foundation, a now-defunct laboratory in New Mexico with extensive Animal Welfare Act violations. Despite his previous living conditions, Garrey had a happy and friendly personality. He was a gentle giant known for his kindness and calm nature when meeting new chimpanzees.

Tiffany a.k.a “Tiff”

Tiffany arrived at Save the Chimps earlier this year at the age of 13. Even though she was new to sanctuary, Tiffany readily expressed her spunky nature. When other chimps were too rowdy during her nap, she would speak her mind, vocalizing to tell them to pipe down. While other chimps carry items around in their pouch (the area between the thigh and the abdomen), Tiff liked to show off by carrying them on her shoulder. The staff gave her a purse, just in case she wanted to carry more. She also loved “water based enrichments” including her kiddie pool.

All of the chimpanzees in our care make deep impressions on our hearts. We understand how much you care about them as well and know that you mourn along with us. Thank you, as always, for the compassion you show toward these amazing beings.

Learn more about how we honor the passing of our beloved residents.