This is dedicated in loving memory to Sonia Chimpanzee who was euthanized on June 5, 2001 at the age of 42, while in organ failure. Sonia was a gentle chimpanzee soul whose black face and silver back made her look like a small gorilla. She spent her final days in a 5x5x7 cage, instead of with her daughter and grandaughter who loved her dearly and may still wonder if she will ever return to them.
Life was not particularly kind to Sonia. Her early history is unclear. It is likely that she was captured as an infant in Africa in the late 1950s, ripped from the breast of her murdered mother. She spent some time in New Mexico, where she had a son whose fate is unknown. She was later transferred to Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, where she lived out her existence inside concrete and steel,never knowing much about grass or trees. She had an easygoing personality, showing little hostility to the humans who forced this existence upon her.
Sonia is survived by her children Barbara, Amos, and Jonathon, and grandchildren Winston, Kevin, and Abby. She left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those who cared for her and we gain comfort from knowing that at least now, she is free.