Getting To Know Them Better

Ellie was born in Oklahoma at a drive-through safari park where she was taken from her mother and sold to a California trainer.   She spent her first seven years in Hollywood working in television, movies, and advertisements.  She was one of the stars in the original CareerBuilder ads that created a media sensation when they were broadcast during the 2005 Superbowl. But like many chimpanzees who work in the entertainment industry, Ellie’s career was at an end when she was still only a juvenile. Though Ellie had spent years in the business of making commercials and films, by the age of seven she was becoming too large and too strong for her human trainers to handle her safely.

She arrived (along with her brothers Jacob and Jonah) at the sanctuary in Wauchula a few months after that Superbowl advertisement aired in March 2005. Ellie currently lives with her best friend, Bella, and she’s going through the introduction process with Jeeter. She’ll often spend time with Stryker while Bella is working on her introductions with Jeeter. The girls together will go on playdates with Maggie and Angel or Jacob.
Ellie is a beautiful chimpanzee as well as clever and skilled at tool use. However, Ellie is also an instigator and likes to stir things up just for fun.


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Interesting Facts

  • Ellie is the younger sister of Murray and the twins Jonah and Jacob. Her father, Joe, arrived at our sanctuary 13 years after Ellie moved here.
  • Ellie is an expert sand-thrower, a dead-on spitter, and is very capable of using sticks and other tools to draw attention to herself.  She loves puzzles, games, and searching for hidden treats. She’s very determined and won’t stop until she has the puzzle solved.


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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