Billy and the humanization dilemma
posted in 12 Jun 2023

Male chimpanzee Billy, 28 years old, is one of the most humanized in the Great Apes Sanctuary of Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil. He was bought by the Kroner circus when he was still a baby and “worked” in the arenas until 2004, when he was finally transferred to the Sanctuary.

He is a very intelligent and individualistic chimpanzee; sometimes explosive, he doesn’t like to share his things. When he was at the circus, still very young, he lived for a short period of time with two chimpanzees who are also at the Sanctuary, Tião and Monica. But as he doesn’t have good memories of their previous life, they didn’t get along, and that’s why they don’t live together.

Even though he is not very sociable with other chimps, he is affectionate and very playful. He loves seeing his reflection in the mirror. He is very expressive, asks for what he wants with gestures and likes to point out parts of his face.

Billy is an example of how humanized chimpanzees can onde they are outside of their natural environment. Despite being an indicator of how very intelligent he is, his behavior will always be a reminder of the years he lived, mistakenly, in the circus. At the Sanctuary, the purpose is to offer Billy the best possible quality of life, respecting his personality and history and encouraging, whenever possible, natural behavior.

He is very intelligent and individualistic; sometimes explosive, doesn't like to share his stuff. When he was in the circus, still very young, he lived for a brief time with two chimpanzees that are in the Sanctuary, Tião and Monica, but as Billy doesn't have good memories of the times he lived in the circus, they didn't get along, so he didn't live together in the Sanctuary.
Date of birth: 07/10/1994
Origin: Circo Kroner
Sanctuary: Sorocaba, São Paulo/Brazil