Dolly was brave, adventurous, intelligent and loyal. She enjoyed exploring her surroundings and trying different foods and was always willing to experience something new. She was the last to arrive at Fauna but she seamlessly fit in with her new chimpanzee family. She was a very complex and independent soul, yet was incredibly insecure when she was alone or separated from her closest friends.
In 1973 at the age of six, Dolly along with four other chimpanzees including Blackie, were shipped from Mesquite, Texas to Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec. She lived there for the next 43 years. While at Parc Safari, Dolly gave birth to at least one baby in 1979, who caregivers named Donnie II. As with many chimpanzee mothers and children, Donnie II was taken away and sold to the Detroit Zoo. Donnie II currently resides at the John Ball Zoo in Michigan. For her remaining time at Parc Safari, Dolly lived as a family of four until the passing of two of her family members.
In 2016, Dolly and Blackie joined the chimpanzee family at Fauna, where they were able to enjoy all that retirement has to offer.
After becoming a mother and having her babies removed from her care, we can only image what kind of emotional toll that could have taken on Dolly. Despite her past, incredibly resilient, sensitive and fiercely protective for those she cared for.
Before Blackie’s passing, Dolly and Blackie were inseparable and they did everything together. Oftentimes when Blackie was being brave and stepping up to interact with new people, Dolly took a step back to observe and assess from afar. Her observant nature made her slightly jealous and insecure when it came to sharing Blackie’s time sometimes.
Dolly could be nervous and had an understandable fear of novel social situations. This made introductions rather tricky with her new neighbors. However, together with time and patience, she was able to meet and remain great friends with Sue Ellen. She also had the opportunity to meet Tatu, Loulis and Jethro a number of times.
Dolly was an amazing friend. She was kind, considerate, and patient. These wonderful qualities made her a perfect friend for Sue Ellen. After Blackie’s passing, Dolly and Sue Ellen enjoyed life at their own pace. Dolly patiently allowed Sue Ellen, the matriarch of the chimpanzee family here at Fauna, to move at her own pace. Dolly followed closely behind Sue Ellen, making sure she was ok. Likewise, if Dolly was nervous or frightened of something going on with the neighbors next door, Sue Ellen was always nearby to offer her reassurance.
Dolly was a wise, old soul. She will be greatly missed by all of us.
“Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.” –Albert Schweitzer