After she was chosen as the subject of an experiment, this chimpanzee ended up losing her newborns. The event left her traumatized. Now she’s reliving her life as a mom by adopting new babies. But it’s not a young chimpanzee—it’s a couple of baby toys.
This 39-year-old chimpanzee who goes by the name Foxie lost not just one but four babies. She could have been a proud mother, but fate wasn’t on her side. She had to endure the pain of losing her offspring, which she had just given birth to in the laboratory she was caged in for various medical tests.
After years of loneliness, she found a way to ease her loneliness. In her new home, Foxie is often seen holding a couple of Troll dolls and a Dora the Explorer replica. But she does not play with them. She takes care of them—like they are her own children. The staff at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Washington, are hoping that her “surrogate children” will heal the wounds brought by the tragic experience, that these will help her be a mother again.
The co-director of CSNW, Diana Goodrich, shared that Foxie would have been a great mother, if she was just given the chance. She loves the dolls so much and would not exchange them for anything.
It is believed that Foxie has little to no chance of fully recovering from the hellish life of being a testing chimp for twelve years. Her actions say that it has been difficult for her to enjoy the new life.
Diana said that Foxie has been popular at CSNW because of her love for her toys.
Though it seemed heartwarming to see just how much Foxie loves the dolls, it is also a sad reminder of the fact that she was not able to keep her real babies by her side.
“She doesn’t really nest with blankets like the other chimpanzees do, and she doesn’t care about a lot of other enrichment unless they are her dolls that she adores,” Diana added.
However, Foxie has a forgiving heart. Even though she’s well aware of who’s to blame for what happened, she remains energetic around humans and interact with them. Despite being injected with vaccines and robbed of her chance to be a mom, Foxie still makes people smile with her playful pirouettes and spins.
Foxie was born at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in Texas on August 8, 1976. A company first bought her, but she was later passed on to another laboratory. In other words, for these people, she was nothing but a piece of equipment.
No one even cared to give her a decent name. At one laboratory in New Mexico, people call her by the name #hashCA0130. When she was turned over to another lab, she was tattooed #hash4X051, her identification code.
She gave birth to twins on November 8, 1986, named #hashCA0157 or Steve and #hashCA0156 or David.
David currently lives at Alamogordo Primate Facility, or APF, in New Mexico as a 300+ NIH (National Institutes of Health) chimpanzee, who will finally retire after years of undergoing medical testings. Sadly, the other twin, Steve, has already gone before.
The mother chimp has given birth to another baby named as CA0178 Angie on December 21, 1987, who is now kept safe in Save the Chimps in Florida.
On February 1, 1989, she gave birth to CA0190 Kelsey, who lies together with David at APF.
She was only given days to be with her babies before they were all taken from her. Experimenters continued using Foxie as a breeder through the 90s, but she was not able to bear any child after Kelsey.
For more than a decade, Foxie stayed at her final testing facility. But she found a new home in 2008 when she was transferred to Washington.
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