In her 40s, Oopsie is now the esteemed matriarch of her group at the sanctuary. But her life began as a performer over 30 years ago when she was an understudy on the TV show “BJ and the Bear”. When her original owner retired, she was sent to a California sanctuary for a short time, but then ended up in another trainer compound where she was bred. Oopsie had at least six infants, but all were pulled away from her within weeks of their birth and either trained as performing chimpanzees or sold as pets. Oopsie’s first two offspring, Boma and Jessie, now live at the sanctuary reunited with their mother, all having arrived here together in March 2005.
Oopsie’s fourth infant is our original chimpanzee resident, Grub (born in 1991). Oopsie raised Grub at the Los Angeles animal compound for 12 weeks until he was pulled from her and sold as an infant to a tourist attraction in Miami
When Oopsie’s daughter Jessie arrived in Wauchula, she was carrying her newborn 6-week old infant born in California before she was moved to the Center. After Oopsie and Jessie were reintroduced to each other, Oopsie was very respectful and gentle with Jessie’s baby, her own grandson (Stryker).
Then, in 2006, another youngster (previously born to Jessie and raised by humans) was added to Oopsie’s group. Little Kodua was only three when she was slowly introduced to her birth mother Jessie, her baby brother (Stryker), her aunt Boma, her grandmother, Oopsie, and the two adult males in the group (Sam and Bubbles). To our surprise, Oopsie immediately adopted Kodua taking her into her nest each night and watching over her with the other chimpanzees.