Merv, a beloved resident of Chimp Haven since 2005, unexpectedly passed away earlier this week. He was one of the first chimpanzees to arrive at Chimp Haven in the spring of 2005 after living alone for many years. To help him socialize again, Merv was introduced to two older females when he first arrived. He developed a love for those who cared for him every day, but also anyone who would provide him attention, play a game of chase or had on a great pair of shoes. The staff could often find him playing games with his feet and begging for attention whenever someone passed by during a visit. He was very persuasive and usually got the attention he craved.
Merv could make anyone smile and was a favorite of staff and visitors alike. He did a lot of learning during his time at Chimp Haven. He learned to be part of his social group and the dominance hierarchy, as well as play more gently with the other chimpanzees, especially the younger members of his group. He learned to explore his habitat and take chances going a little further with each excursion. Merv’s favorite companions were Mason and Puddin’, who both pass away before Merv. Chimp Haven’s staff members like to think that the three males have been reunited and are enjoying each other’s company once again. He taught us that play is important and we should all take a few moments to play each day. We miss you Merv.