Rescued Zoo Chimp Who Spent 18 Years in Isolation Won’t Let Go of New Friend

For 18 years Terry the chimp lived in isolation at a zoo, now he has a new friend and won’t let go of her.
Cindy Drukier

Everyone likes a story with a happy ending, no matter how tragic the beginning.  

For 18 years Terry the chimpanzee lived in isolation without any chance to socialize with other chimps or animals at the Las Vegas Zoo. The zoo was the subject of years of campaigning by PETA and local animal activists for allegedly inhumane treatment of Terry and the 150 other animals kept there.

“Terry’s existence is akin to a life sentence with no parole—even though he has committed no crime,” PETA Director Debbie Leahy had said during a protest appealing for Terry’s release back in 2007.

In September 2013, the zoo closed down after all its zookeepers walked off the job.

Terry was then taken in by Save the Chimps, a non-profit in Florida that gives lifelong homes to chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, the entertainment industry, like zoos, and the pet trade.

“When Terry first arrived, he was very afraid of other chimpanzees. He didn’t seem to understand how to speak chimpanzee,” wrote Save the Chimps in an update about a year after Terry arrived.

Cindy Drukier is a veteran journalist, editor, and producer. She's the host of NTD's International Reporters Roundtable featured on EpochTV, and perviously host of NTD's The Nation Speaks. She's also an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her two films are available on EpochTV: "Finding Manny" and "The Unseen Crisis"