Foxie's Story

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Foxie's Story

From Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CNSW)
June 2013

Foxie is extremely forgiving. For all that humans have done to her—shipped her around, injected her with vaccine tests, and stolen her babies—she’s surprisingly very energetic and interactive with the humans. She can make anyone smile with her playful spins and pirouettes. She probably would have made an excellent mother if she’d been given the chance, but at least in sanctuary she is able to take her dolls with her outside, forage for fruit which she loves, and do somersaults and acrobatics that she never had the space to do in the labs she was caged in.

Foxie might be the silliest being I’ve ever met. She truly can brighten anyone’s day with her bouncy head nods and loud laughter—even Jamie—the most serious being I’ve ever met, is entranced with her charm and playfulness. Foxie steals peoples’ hearts with her love of trolls and Dora dolls, especially when she rubs their belly on her own. She’s sweet, kind, and truly resilient.

Foxie was born on August 8, 1976 at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in Texas (which became Texas Biomedical Research Institute and still houses chimpanzees for research). Buckshire purchased Foxie in 1983 and then leased her to Michale E. Keeling Center, another biomedical lab also in Texas. She was there for two years before being shipped back to Buckshire in October 1985. We don’t have any records of her early years, just that she was used in hepatitis A vaccine trials. In November 1985, she was shipped down south again to White Sands Research Center in New Mexico. Foxie was known as “#CA0130” at Buckshire and WSRC. At SFBR her tattoo was “#4-051.”

In two years, Foxie moved from one lab to another, back to Buckshire, and then to yet another lab. At WSRC she was used as a breeder. On December 21, 1987, she gave birth to Angie (who now, thankfully, lives at Save the Chimps in Florida) who was taken from her right away. Foxie also gave birth to Kelsey in 1989 and a set of twins, David and Steve. All were taken away from her within days of their births. She left Coulston on August 13, 1996 and remained at Buckshire for the next 12 years.

Foxie is known at CSNW for her love of troll dolls (and also Dora the Explorer dolls). Though it can seem endearing how she loves and hugs her dolls, it’s also a sad reminder that Foxie was never able to keep a baby of her own. She would get knocked down, and wake up with her babies stolen from her. After being traumatized in the lab, Foxie not surprisingly has likely suffered some psychological distress. She doesn’t really nest with blankets like the other chimpanzees do, and she doesn’t care about a lot of other enrichment unless they are her dolls that she adores.

Foxie is extremely forgiving. For all that humans have done to her—shipped her around, injected her with vaccine tests, and stolen her babies—she’s surprisingly very energetic and interactive with the humans. She can make anyone smile with her playful spins and pirouettes. She probably would have made an excellent mother if she’d been given the chance, but at least in sanctuary she is able to take her dolls with her outside, forage for fruit which she loves, and do somersaults and acrobatics that she never had the space to do in the labs she was caged in.

Foxie chimp sanctuary
When Foxie first came to CSNW she was curious about the outdoors, which she’d never really experienced before.

Foxie chimp sanctuary

Foxie chimp sanctuary
Now, Foxie confidently takes her precious dolls with her on adventures around Young’s Hill.