Getting To Know Them Better

Chipper was wild-born in Africa, illegally poached, sold first to a New York animal dealer, and then to a circus trainer when he was only two years old. Along with Butch, Chipper spent ten years in the Ringling Brothers circus and then was sent to the Coulston bio-medical research lab in New Mexico when his trainer died. After Chipper left the lab in 1985, he was sent to a small roadside zoo for retired performing circus animals in North Florida. While there, Chipper and another chimpanzee gained some notoriety on television when they escaped, ran out onto the Interstate with a gallon of honey, and sat on the road eating their stolen treat. After they finished the honey, they ran into a neighbor’s barn and took the cap off a tractor’s gas tank, poured kitty litter into the gas tank, then replaced the cap.  And, then they opened the crank case, poured in more kitty litter and put that cap back on!

Chipper arrived at the Center’s sanctuary in September 2000 with his long-time companion, Butch.  Chipper is tall and slim and can easily climb all the structures in his habitat. His athletic abilities are evident as he plays in the swings and vines in his outside area.

Chipper arrived with Butch, but today he lives in a group with Natsu, Noelle, Kenya, Mowgli, and Brooks.

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee


Chipper was born sometime in 1974 in Africa

Interesting Facts

  • Chipper’s favorite enrichment toys are old shoes and boots, as well as lots of fresh tree branches for nest building.
  • Chipper is an excellent painter and seems to be
    in deep concentration when he has a canvas
    and paintbrush.
  • When Chipper is out in the aerial trailways, he gallops at top speed through the woods trying to get a game of chase going with staff and volunteers. And, Chipper always wins! He can also be seen playing a fast game of chase with his friend Brooks!


Caring for one of our apes costs over $27,000 a year. By symbolically adopting the ape of your choice, you are helping ensure your orangutan or chimpanzee's health, safety, and well-being.

Can't Adopt?

In addition to cash donations, the Center for Great Apes is always in need of food, enrichment items, and supplies. We welcome gifts of all kinds.


Want to know what we need? We have a list of things we would like to have.

Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, Inc. dba Center for Great Apes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEID 65-0444725.

© 2020 Center for Great Apes. All Rights Reserved.

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