Born in 1983, we don’t know much about Judy’s earlier life other than it was not an easy one. She was confiscated in Mombasa, Kenya, alongside two other chimpanzees from a man who claimed to have rescued the trio from Zaire. However, it wasn’t long before suspicions arose as the man lacked any formal documents for these chimps. After being confiscated, Judy, along with her companions, found themselves at an orphanage in Nairobi.
Judy’s life took a turn for the better when at age 10, she was brought to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Upon her arrival, it became evident to our team of vets that she had suffered from polio during her infancy, leaving her with a painful, withered leg. Despite this setback, it has never stopped Judy from embracing the opportunity to thrive here in her new home.
Over the years, Judy has blossomed into a vibrant and healthy adult chimpanzee. In 1997, Judy became a mother, giving birth at Sweetwaters to a beautiful baby boy who we named Oscar. Her transformation from a rescued, polio-afflicted infant to a loving and nurturing mother is nothing short of remarkable.
The chimpanzees at Sweetwaters unfortunately cannot be reintroduced to the wild and therefore need ongoing support. It costs us US$5,000 a year to look after one chimpanzee!