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Meet the Chimps of Island 1

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Annie and Security of Island 1

Island 1 is located on the Little Bassa River and is home to a group of eight chimpanzees known for their laid-back nature. The caregivers describe this special group as peaceful, relaxed, and content. These chimpanzees have known each other for most of their lives. All eight chimps were either born at the laboratory or arrived during infancy, typically sold to the lab by poachers or by those who could no longer care for them as pets. Stuart is the only male on Island 1. Though he is a gentle giant and conflict on the island is rare, he still holds the spot as alpha and is well-respected by the entire group. Thanks to this respect, as well as the the lifelong friendships the chimps share, the group gets along remarkably well. Stuart’s role as alpha may not be difficult due the stability of the group, but he nonetheless does a great job of keeping the peace and settling minor squabbles. Stuart is good friends with Juno and loves to play with her!


The highest-ranking female, Teta, shares a close bond with Mabel, who is also high-ranking in the group. Mabel is very social and is also close friends with Security, a lower-ranking female she watches over, and Elysse, whom she has been friends with for many years. Annie is described by caregivers as relaxed and cheerful. Springroll, a gentle female chimpanzee who has a permanent eye damage due to a tranquilization accident many years ago in the laboratory, also lives happily on Island 1. This island is ideal for Springroll because it is much quieter in comparison to other islands where multiple males compete for rank in the hierarchy. Springroll does not have to worry about getting caught up in conflict that would be harder for her to navigate with her impaired vision, and she is able to spend her time eating, grooming, and playing with the other chimps. Fun fact: all the chimps of Island 1 carefully wash their fresh produce in the salty river before they eat it – a behavior that is not necessarily seen at every other island at the sanctuary! 

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