CHICAGO — Two chimpanzee who were trained as “actors” are coming to Lincoln Park Zoo.
The chimps, 11-year-old Eli and 13-year-old Susie, were trained to perform, appearing in music videos, ads and movies. But they were “deemed unsuitable for such work after just a few short years, despite most chimpanzees living for many decades,” according to Lincoln Park Zoo.
So Eli, a boy, and Susie, a girl, went to live at an unaccredited wildlife facility in California. The facility closed in August, though, leaving more than 40 chimps — including Eli and Susie — without a home, according to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Experts worked for months on finding suitable homes for the primates.
Ultimately, it was decided to send Eli and Susie to Lincoln Park Zoo.
The two will live at the zoo’s Regenstein Center for African Apes, which has two groups of chimps, each with five primates, according to the zoo. If Eli and Susie are successfully introduced, they’ll join a non-breeding group.
The two will join the zoo this spring.
Eli, dubbed “Hollywood’s last actor chimp” by the Hollywood Reporter, appeared in a music video for boy band One Direction and the TV show “Angie Tribeca,” along with an ad for Microsoft. Eli is also the focus of the documentary, “The Last Chimpanzee.”