Getting To Know Them Better

Joe (believed to be in his 40s) was wild-caught, and as an infant, was used at a major Midwest zoo in their old “chimp shows”. When he grew too big to perform, he was sent to a drive-through safari park in Oklahoma. Joe and his mate Lily produced many offspring at the safari park, but the infants were sold as exotic pets or as entertainers.  Amazingly, we have four of their offspring already living here who came from entertainment and from the pet trade – Murray, twins Jonah & Jacob, and Ellie.

Joe arrived at the sanctuary with another chimpanzee male, Bo.  These two unrelated chimpanzees living in different states for many years each sired offspring who were used in the ape trade business.   One of Joe’s daughters and Bo’s son are the parents of Bentley!  So they are both Bentley’s grandfathers who coincidentally ended up in Oklahoma from different owners. Joe and Bo now peacefully live together at CGA, and we refer to them as “the grandpas”.

Joe is very independent but sweet. Relaxed and submissive, Joe doesn’t need to be the center of attention which compliments Bo well. His favorite foods are celery and frozen bananas He also really likes dried fruit and juice. His favorite type of enrichment is a frozen boomer ball, he’ll carry it around and work on it for literally the entire day!

Joe’s best friend is Bo. They spend above-average amounts of time grooming each other every day. They have their disagreements but they always make-up and are stronger than before. They are supportive of each other and comfort each other whenever another chimp is pant hooting.

Joe and Bo were recently introduced to females Angel and Maggie. Joe loves playing with the girls. He is very smooth and sweet with the females. He is also an excellent nest builder especially when a female chimp is watching. He is also very patient and follows girls around like a puppy dog.

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee


Joe's exact birthdate is unknown

Interesting Facts

  • His caregivers describe him as distinguishable, casual, and warm-hearted


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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