The notoriously substandard Las Vegas Zoo, where 150 animals were confined on just three acres, closed its doors a few months ago after all its zookeepers mysteriously quit.

The animals at the zoo included a lion, a cheetah, a chimp, a crocodile and some apes, including a chimp named Terri.

Terry at the Las Vegas zoo. (Photo: PETA)

Observers described Terry as a forlorn individual living in a cage with rotten, shriveled fruit, and filthy drinking water. He came to the zoo nearly 20 years ago with his longtime friend Simon. As youngsters they had performed an ice skating routine for the Ice Capades, a traveling entertainment show. Simon died shortly after they arrived at the zoo. Since then Terry lived alone.

A few people, including his former owner and trainer at the Ice Capades, dropped by once in awhile to try and cheer him up, but it was generally agreed he was deeply depressed.

Fortunately, Terry’s story has a happy ending. In October he was taken in by Save the Chimps (STC), a Florida sanctuary, where he has made his first friend, a female named Indie.

Terry at Save the Chimps

A recent post from the sanctuary described how

Indie, a very laid-back, quiet, friendly chimpanzee, wasn’t troubled when Terry ignored her. In fact, she pretty much lost interest in him. Ironically, this is exactly what Terry needed. Since Indie wasn’t bothering to even attempt to interact with Terry, he had the opportunity to observe her without feeling threatened in any way. Over the next few days, he became more and more curious about her, even following her from room to room in the Special Needs building. Then, a little over a week after they met, Terry let Indie groom him!”

The staff considered this an enormous breakthrough. To their knowledge, “It was the first time Terry had been touched by another chimpanzee in eighteen years.”

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