IMG_1098 Maude

Getting To Know Them Better


For 32 years, the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP), a part of New York University’s (NYU) School of Medicine, housed 300 chimpanzees, many of who were subjected to invasive biomedical research in reproduction, blood transfusions, hepatitis B and HIV.

When the LEMSIP lab was closed in the mid-1990s, NYU planned to send the chimpanzees to another biomed research lab (the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico) that had many USDA and welfare violations for the negligent deaths of chimpanzees.   

LEMSIP’s head veterinarian, Dr. James Mahoney and many of his devoted staff worked quietly and quickly to get the youngest of these lab chimps out of biomed research and into sanctuaries before they could be moved to the Coulston lab.  Nearly 90 of the youngest chimps were secretly moved out of the New York lab in 1996 to several sanctuaries around the country. Of those 90, about 50 of the very youngest (infants, juveniles, and adolescents) were sent to the Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles County where they lived for the next 25 years.   

In 2019, the Wildlife Waystation closed, and hundreds of animals living there – tigers, lions, bears, wolves, monkeys, birds, small mammals, and reptiles – were moved within the year to other facilities. But the remaining chimpanzees had to wait until space was built at four chimpanzee sanctuaries in the U.S.   

Ewok, Josh, Billy, Mystery, Sabina, and Maude were the very youngest babies who were transported from LEMSIP to the Wildlife Waystation in 1996.  Today, in their 20s and 30s, their group was moved to the Center for Great Apes in November 2021 where they stepped out on the grass for the very first time in their lives!   


Maude was born in the New York LEMSIP lab shortly after Billy was born. They both were in the baby nursery together until they were secretly moved (at 9-11 months old) to the Wildlife Waystation in Los Angles to avoid having them transferred to an invasive research lab in New Mexico. When the Wildlife Waystation closed, Maude and Billy (along with their group including Ewok, Josh, Sabina, Mystery, and ShaSha) were moved to the Center for Great Apes in 2021.

Maude is a very sweet female but can also be tough at times. She does not like to shift from one room to another … or to go inside and outside, so she is usually the last one to come inside on a cold afternoon. She likes to sleep outside at night, and often naps during the day in the aerial tunnels.

Cardboard boxes are one of Maude’s favorite things to play with. She seems to like to spend time alone but often hangs out with Mystery or Billy. Maude is very intelligent and has many ways to convince her chimp friends and her caregivers to give her what she wants.

Back to Meet the Chimpanzee


October 1995

Interesting Facts


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.

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