In Memory of Maggie

(September 2, 1990 - October 29, 2013)

Young Maggie from her performing days at Marine World.

Young Maggie from her performing days at Marine World.

Maggie was born on September 2, 1990 at a breeding facility in Auburn, California.  She was separated from her mother a year later and sold to Marine World USA in Vallejo, California.  While there, Maggie was introduced to Thiele and Patti, who became her surrogate sisters and helped raise her.

At Marine World, Maggie was forced to perform unnatural tricks on command for several years.  Typical of most chimpanzees, Maggie became too strong and unmanageable at the young age of eight, and therefore too dangerous to work around the public.  Once considered unprofitable in the entertainment world, she was sent back to the breeding facility where she was born.  In 2005, the breeding facility was no longer able to care for their chimpanzees so they relocated Maggie and Thiele to Chimps Inc. where their sister Patti had already made her home.  After nine long years of separation, the sister trio reunited with elated pant hoots and big embraces.

Maggie was extremely intelligent and eager to impress, and her creativity was evident when she used socks as mittens on colder days or strut around with a string necklace around her neck, long after the cheerios had been eaten off of it.  Some of her favorite pastimes included tickling Jackson, grooming with her sisters or sunbathing in a perfectly crafted nest of blankets.  Like many chimps raised by humans, Maggie had a fondness for human-like enrichment.  She especially loved shoes and socks and it was not a rare occurrence to see her stomping around in a pair of old sneakers…although she wasn’t always reliable about putting them on the right feet.

Maggie passed away suddenly on October 29, 2013 from unexpected complications related to heart disease, the number one cause of premature death in captive apes.  As heartbreaking as her premature passing was, we take comfort in knowing what a wonderful life Maggie had at Chimps Inc., how many lives she touched, and how truly loved she was by everyone who knew her, chimps and humans alike.  Though we will miss her dearly, we hope that wherever she is now, she is enjoying the ultimate freedom of a life without bars.

Please consider making a donation in Maggie’s memory.