Ellie was one of the stars in the original CareerBuilder ads that created a media sensation when they were broadcast during the 2005 Superbowl. But like many chimpanzees who work in the entertainment industry, Ellie’s career was at an end when she was still only a juvenile. Though Ellie had spent years in the business of making commercials and films, by the age of seven she was becoming too large and too strong for her human trainers to handle her safely. In fact, the human actor in the first CareerBuilder commercials told a story on a late night TV show of how Ellie went after him during the filming of the commercial.
Ellie was born at a tourist attraction (drive-thru safari park) in Oklahoma. There Ellie was taken away at birth from her mother, spending her infancy with humans and then was eventually sold to a California trainer. She arrived at the sanctuary in Wauchula a few months after that Superbowl advertisement aired in March 2005.