Topo Is A Young Man At Heart

Topo Is A Young Man At Heart

With the 20th anniversary of Chimps Inc approaching, we’ve been browsing through photos of the chimps when the sanctuary first opened in 1995. Topo, our resident alpha male who is turning 50 years old this year, was a young, thirty year old chimp when he first arrived. His hair was dark black, parted neatly in the middle and he had a very debonair look about him. Now with Topo’s hair greyed, his fingers large due to arthritis, and his face wrinkled, Topo takes on a new persona, of a wise old grandfather who has many stories to tell.

Topo is not letting his age get to him too much though and still surprises us all with his playful spirit, sense of humor, and remarkable agility. As caregivers and volunteers walk past him he entices them to play and laugh with him. He chases Jackson around the enclosure and as Jackson swings around him from above, Topo laughs and tries to grab Jackson’s legs. He even entices sisters, Patti and Thiele, to play on occasion. Topo really surprised us all this week though as we were doing a forage toss over the enclosure. As small bits of berry and melon fell through the two inch mesh in the ceiling of his enclosure, the larger pieces of apple and plum remained stuck on the roof. Topo was determined to get to his favorite treats and set off like Spiderman across the ceiling of his enclosure. He hung there, his hands and feet all grasping at the mesh as he worked on squeezing the larger fruit pieces through before climbing down and allowing himself to rest and enjoy his prize. Topo may look different than he did 20 years ago, but he is still young at heart.

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Kevin D., Caregiver