Foxie was doomed to a lifetime in a lab, but now she can run free with her favourite toys – her troll dolls.
The 40-year-old chimp is never seen without one of the brightly-coloured dolls at the sanctuary in Cle Elum, Washington state, where she now lives.
Cuddling and playing with the dolls brings comfort to Foxie, whose own four babies were cruelly taken away from her just days after they were born.
She was used as a breeder for biomedical research, and so her newborns were all removed from her before she was able to raise them herself.
Foxie was rescued in 2008, and is now being cared for by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.
Diana Goodrich, the sanctuary’s co-director, said: ‘Foxie and six other chimpanzees were released from a private biomedical research, called Buckshire, where they had been warehoused for over a decade.
‘Prior to that, Foxie had been used in hepatitis vaccine testing, and other experiments that we do not know the details of.
‘Buckshire no longer wanted to own the chimpanzees – they weren’t making money off of them any longer because research using chimpanzees had decreased – and Foxie and her friends were just waiting for sanctuary space to open up.
‘Shortly after the chimpanzees arrived, I brought a troll doll for them to play with.
‘I was not thinking that Foxie would like the doll because she really didn’t play with any of the other toys that we had given the chimps, but as soon as she saw the troll doll, she was in love.’
Now Foxie has amassed a collection of hundreds of troll dolls, because her fans and visitors send them in as gifts.
‘She carries them with her, often on her back or in her mouth. She plays with them – throwing them up in the air and catching them again,’ Diana, 43, added.
‘She tosses them to her human caregivers and we give them back to her as a little game.’