‘Lucy the Human Chimp’: Meet the chimpanzee raised with people and Janice, her caretaker, who tried to integrate her back into the wild

Janis Carter and Lucy. Credit: Warner/HBO Max
Janis Carter and Lucy. Credit: Warner/HBO Max

Lucy the Human Chimp, a new television documentary from HBO and Channel 4, explores… the story of one unique relationship: that between Lucy, a chimpanzee raised as a human, and Janis Carter, a graduate student hired to clean her cage. Through the late 1960s, Lucy was the subject of a high-profile study by psychologists Maurice and Jane Temerlin, ostensibly to explore the limits of nature versus nurture.

The Temerlins brought Lucy up in their home more or less as though she was a human child, to the point of teaching her to dress herself, eat with silverware and even fix a gin and tonic. 

Lucy the Human Chimp airs on HBO Max April 29.

After a frosty start – Carter remembers the chimp as “arrogant, and very condescending” about her poor comprehension of sign language – the two forged a close bond. But the adolescent chimp increasingly posed a threat to her human family, and was confined to a cage.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 1977, the Temerlins decided to take 12-year-old Lucy to Gambia to be taught how to live in the wild; Carter went along to help. 

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Just as Lucy was raised a human, Carter lived as a chimp. But, after the best part of a decade, she had to extract herself and return to her own kind, she says: “I couldn’t live in both worlds.”

Read the original post

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Related article:  Extraterrestrial protein found inside meteorite? If true, discovery bolsters pursuit of alien life
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend