Instigator, Determined, ExuberantMy Birthday
April 1997My Story
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 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 in captivity in 1997 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.
Ellie is one of the most beautiful chimpanzees at the sanctuary. She is clever and smart… but is also an instigator in her group of young friends (Maggie, Bella, and her older twin brothers Jacob and Jonah). Ellie likes to stir things up just for fun. She is an expert sand-thrower, a dead-on spitter, and is very capable of using sticks and other tools to draw attention to herself. She loves puzzles, games, and searching for hidden treats. She’s very determined and won’t stop until she has the puzzle solved.
Ellie really likes to groom with the staff using sticks. One day, she was sitting by her caregiver on the other side of the mesh and grooming him with a long stick when her older brother Jacob came up to see what she was doing. Jacob watched and then decided that he wanted Ellie’s stick so he could reach through and groom the caregiver too. Ellie looked at her older (and much larger) brother for a moment contemplating whether she would have to give up her stick… when she suddenly and very diplomatically broke it in half and gave one piece to Jacob and kept the other half for herself so she continue to use to groom the caregiver.
Ellie has a very healthy appetite, never passing up a meal and often asking her caregivers for a few extra snacks. She shows a great deal of emotion on her face and often wiggles her ears as she thinks!