Regis was a sensitive and emotional chimpanzee who could often be spotted with a stuffed animal in his pelvic pocket. He was the tallest of the Fauna chimps with very long arms. He had a structured thin face with large, slightly pointed ears and his canines protrude forward slightly.
Incredibly sensitive, loving, loyal, fragile, guarded, vulnerable, complicated, intuitive, smart, and clever, Regis was quite accepting of his situation. He definitely saw himself as an alpha chimp, and the other residents treated him as such, except for perhaps Binky.
Regis enjoyed quiet time with his family members and caregivers. He cames to caregivers when he wanted to be groomed and left when he has other things to do. He also loved grooming and playing with his chimpanzee friends and spending time outside in the tunnels, weather permitting.
Regis was always the first to decipher any new enrichment ideas. Give him a box locked shut and a bunch of keys to choose from, and he would be the first to open it. He was known for their escapes at LEMSIP. He was incredibly intelligent and knew that they have not been fairly dealt the cards of life. At Faun though he put a lot of trust in his caregivers. They were able to give him daily injections to manage his diabetes and continue with even more training since he is more than willing.
Born in LEMSIP and reared there, Regis was involved in three brutal studies, one of which was a hepatitis study. This involved isolation and multiple-punch liver biopsies. He arrived at Fauna in 1997.
Regis remained a sensitive and emotional fellow. He got more sensitive with time but less stressed by things going on around him. His coping skills became far more developed, and he was very secure in his group.
Regis was a tall, skinny, scared and neurotic little boy when Gloria met him in the lab years ago. When he moved to Fauna, he underwent remarkable changes. Year after year he became more secure, more self-assured, and earned a position in the family as a valued member. He got support from everyone, including Jethro who had such an important role in the family. Of great importance in Regis’ development and maturity was his relationship with dear Pepper. She was a strong role model and friend to Regis, and this relationship gave him great comfort and elevated him in the group. Often it seems as if the others see his weaknesses and sensed he couldn’t cope with too much stress, so were careful with him, which was very kind of them. While Pepper was alive she provided unconditional love and support to Regis, even from afar.
From the time he was born, Regis was a victim of biomedical research, and he was sickly. He chose to starve himself as a way of controlling his world back then; which ultimately led to his weakened state. Lack of nourishment at an early age can have lifelong effects, and the daily rigors and stresses of research life marked him for life.
Whatever they did to Petra and Regis at LEMSIP, it had the same effect; they were the same age, involved in much of the same daily rigors, and were housed together for a short period of time as youngsters. Both locked up permanently far too early, while others still had times outside of their cages. This alone had a terrible consequence for them. They watched as others their age were taken out of the cages to play with other chimps or the humans, but because they hated so badly to be put back in their cages, lab workers stopped letting them out.
Regis was a special guy but he always had an edge. He, like Petra, seemed to know something is not right about his situation in life and often just seemed angry. Regis was diabetic and had to cooperate daily for his meds and injections.
In spite of all he endured and his frustration about his situation, Regis was fabulous with us, and decided to work with us. He knew what to expect, and he decided daily whether he wants to come to us for help. Regis became a loving, trusting and forgiving chimpanzee. It took a group, a family, and a community to raise Regis, bless his little soul, and all those who helped him grow into the man he became.
To read the enews visit https://mailchi.mp/faunafoundation/regis