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Infamous 'Julie the chimp' has new home at LA Zoo

'Julie the chimp' is known for her unruly attitude, but officials are hoping she can find a fresh start at the LA Zoo.

January 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Her rap sheet doesn't look good: Julie the chimp has been moved from two zoos. She was mean to employees and other chimpanzees, and is even known to fling her feces.

At her most recent home at the ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque, N.M., the 25-year-old chimp threw things and even spit at people. Her monkeying around was just too much, and zookeepers there were forced to find her another home.

"We have found a place in the L.A. Zoo, that we thought that their facilities could better accommodate her, and maybe she might be happy there," said a BioPark employee.

Julie's tarnished past doesn't bother folks at the L.A. Zoo, who say they are excited about the new addition to their chimp family.

"We have a lot of experience here with chimpanzees in a large social group and they asked us because Julie was having some problems where she was, they asked us if we'd be willing to take her and introduce her to our group. And we are very happy to do that," said L.A. Zoo Curator of Mammals Jennie Becker.

Julie the chimp will be introduced into a group of 13 chimpanzees, and experts say the key to doing that successfully is patience.

"If you take the process slowly and give them a chance to really get to know each other and to kind of check each other out first, I think that we'll be successful with her," Becker said.

But don't rush over to see if Julie is behaving. She won't be seeing much of anyone for a while, and it's not because she's causing trouble. At least not yet.

"Right now any animal that comes into the zoo has to go through a quarantine period so that we're sure that she isn't carrying anything or would introduce anything into our zoo population," said Becker.