Remembering Maggie

Remembering Maggie

One year ago today our beloved Maggie passed away suddenly from unexpected complications related to heart disease. She was only 23-years-old. Maggie was the perfect example of how ex-pet and entertainment chimps continue to suffer daily from the trauma and abuse they were previously subjected to, long after they are rescued and brought to sanctuary. Though Maggie was sweet and playful, she lived in a constant state of anxiety that no doubt contributed significantly to her premature death.

Maggie was special. There’s no other word for it. She was both sweet and terrifying, submissive and dominant, jovial and haunted. Maggie had a close relationship with each of the chimps at the sanctuary, which is not something we can say about all of them. She was inseparable from her sisters (Thiele and Patti), touchingly nurturing to Jackson, and always playful with Topo. When CJ first arrived, Maggie was the first adult female that we introduced her to. It was only because of their quickly formed friendship that Patti and Thiele grudgingly decided that CJ might not be so bad after all.

I miss things about her that it never occurred to me I would, things I took for granted until they weren’t there anymore: her chubby feet; the dimple above her swelling; her huge prehensile lips which she could use as deftly as her fingers; her effortless flexibility and balance; the perfectly crafted mohawk hairdo that made it look like she’d always just rolled out of bed; how she inspected our shoes by first licking the bottom and then carefully poking at the toe; how good she was at following directions (when she was in the mood, of course): if something was accidentally left in an enclosure or a blanket was in the way of a door, Maggie was the one you called to get it for you.

Maggie was messy and curious and goofy and gentle and dangerously brilliant. Even a year after her death, there is a hole in every day where Maggie used to be. I think I can speak for all of the Chimps Inc. staff and caregivers when I say how thankful we are that we got to know her and work with her, and be such an integral part of her life.

We will always miss you, Maggie. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Rachel, Senior Caregiver

Click here to watch a video of Maggie.

 Maggie collage for blog