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Adopt Me!

If you would like to help financially with my care, we have a personalized “Adoption” opportunity. For a donation of $150, you will receive an adoption certificate, frame quality photograph with biography, and become a member of the sanctuary for one year.

For $10,000 you can become my exclusive adoptive “parent” for one full year and have the opportunity for a unique overnight stay in a guest cabin on sanctuary grounds.

Give the Gift of Adoption. Adopt an ape for a friend or loved one!

My Character
Lumbering, Jovial, Silly

My Birthday
May 6, 1985

My Story

     Chuckie was born at the Memphis Zoo, but because he was a “hybrid” mix between Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, he was sold to a dealer, and then to a circus trainer. During his years in the circus, he was called “Tootsie” and worked together in the circus with the orangutan Radcliffe. They worked together for five years until Radcliffe was sold to a small New York zoo. From circus work, Chuckie was then sent to a California compound at age 7 where he lived near trained chimpanzees, but no other orangutans.    


      Like Radcliffe, Chuckie was castrated in the circus and therefore never developed the features and characteristics of an adult male orangutan such as the facial cheekpads, the long body hair and beard, or the large throat pouch. However, he still grew very large, and when he first arrived at the sanctuary from California, he weighed 320 pounds.

While fully-grown adult male orangutans do not tolerate the presence of another adult male in their territory, Chuckie and Radcliffe are like very large adolescent males and have, at times, enjoyed each other’s company. After Chuckie’s arrival at the sanctuary in 2006, these two boys were reunited after 16 years separation and played together, groomed each other, and shared food. Chuckie has also been introduced to Bam Bam, Louie, Pebbles, and Kiki… and is generally good-natured and playful with each one.


Cardboard boxes and large paper bags are some of Chuckie’s favorite play items, and he also likes to get under big plastic tubs and then walk around with the tubs on his back, looking somewhat like a giant tortoise. But his all-time favorite activity is water play… either sitting in the sprinklers, or jumping into a big tub of water!  Despite his large size, Chuckie swings and somersaults around his habitat with grace and agility. Perhaps a former circus trick, Chuckie knows how to whistle and will often whistle for attention from his caregivers. (It always surprises us when we hear this.)

      There are very few foods that Chuckie won’t eat, but his favorites are any kinds of fruits. At the end of the day, Chuckie makes a huge nest using straw, blankets, and branches.