Date of birth: 1973
Place of birth: probably in the wild
Arrival at MONA: September 2021

Suzie’s story

From a very young age she was owned by a circus family and was working for them in traveling shows mainly in Belgium.
She also starred in some commercials.


Once retired, in 1995 her owners moved her to Alicante, together with another chimpanzee, Jimmy. She lived with him in a cage in a house in the province of Alicante, until he died. When her only companion died, she spent 5 years alone.
We heard about her for the first time in 2010, and it wasn’t until 2021 that finally, together with the support of various organisations, we were able to convince her owners that the best place for a chimpanzee is in the company of her kin, in MONA. This means that the last years of her life will be spent in a large facility, with grass, vegetation and bushes… and most importantly, she will no longer be alone.


She has adapted very quickly to the sanctuary and her new life. She is a very strong-minded old lady.
She loves Tom’s company, and is gradually accepting the others in the group.

Her social life

She is still in process of association with the Bilinga group. Thanks to the centre’s camera system, we can record each of the sessions and monitor progress. In addition, during the association process, faecal samples are being taken to monitor the stress (cortisol) due to the associations, which will be analysed in a study together with the Veterinary Faculty of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


  • She loves eating lettuce and cucumber.
  • Her favourite spot is a large hammock hung in a high corner, where she basks in the sun all day long.

Fun Facts

  • When Suzie arrived, the others immediately noticed and made vocalizations to greet her from their respective rooms.
  • When Suzie sleeps, she sleeps in a hammock and covers herself completely with blankets and disappears underneath.
  • When Suzie moves around her facility, she tends to avoid the floor and prefers to climb.

Here is the video of his transfer to MONA


Suzie’s group

She is part of the group we call the Bilinga*.

Bilinga: Nauclea diderrichii is a native tree of Central and part of West Africa. Its natural habitat is the humid forests of subtropical or tropical lowlands and it is threatened by uncontrolled logging by its wood known as BILINGA. This tree produces one of the chimps’ favorite fruits. Even studies have been made of the vocalizations they make when they find a tree full of them!

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