Getting To Know Them Better

Ellie 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. In fact, the human actor in the first CareerBuilder commercials told a story on a late night TV show of how Ellie went after him during the filming of the commercial.

Ellie was born at a tourist attraction (drive-thru safari park) in Oklahoma. There Ellie was taken away at birth from her mother, spending her infancy with humans and then was eventually sold to a California trainer. 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.

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee



Interesting Facts

  • Ellie is one of the most beautiful chimpanzees at the sanctuary. She is clever and smart and great at tool use but she is also an instigator. Ellie likes to stir things up just for fun.
  • Ellie currently lives with a group of young chimpanzees Bella, Stryker and Jacob. This group of friends are in the process of creating a larger group with Bently and Kenzy.
  • She 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.


It costs $22,000 a year to care for one of our apes. By symbolically adopting the ape of your choice for a one-time donation of $300 OR just $25 a month for one year, you are helping ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your orangutan or chimpanzee.

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.

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