Friday, October 5, 2012

Oliver: Humanzee?

Oliver (1958-2012) was a performing retired chimp. When discovered by some, his balding look and upright walking and desire for cigarettes brought up questions of whether he could be part human/part chimp.

(Wikipedia) Oliver was acquired as a young animal (around 2 years old) in 1960 by trainers Frank and Janet Berger. Supposedly, the chimpanzee had been caught in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo). Some physical and behavioral evidence led the Bergers to believe Oliver was a creature other than a chimpanzee, perhaps a human-chimp hybrid: Oliver possessed a flatter face than his fellow chimpanzees; Oliver was habitually bipedal (before being struck with arthritis), never walking on his knuckles like his chimpanzee peers; and Oliver may have preferred human females over chimpanzee females. During a December 16, 2006 Discovery Channel special, Janet Berger herself claimed that Oliver was becoming attracted to her when he reached the age of 16. He mounted her and tried to mate with her. After he tried it several times it became apparent that Oliver was a threat to Janet, and had to be sold.

Genetic testing commenced to put the rumors to rest. He was found to be a common chimp and his characteristics like freckles and walking upright were just variations of that.

Let's just look at the horrifying possibility -

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize he had lived all the way up to this year. I know they said the genetic testing shows he was a chimp, but I don't know...he seemed very unique.