IDA-Africa staff first met Jimi in the Spring of 2002. She was being held as a pet in the household of a retired Captain of Cameroon’s military police in the town of Bertoua. After a year of negotiations and persistance, the Minsitry finally agreed to confiscate Jimi because the Captain had attemtped to sell her. He was resorting to more and more physical discipline to "control" Jimi as she grew older and stronger.
At the time of her confiscation, Jimi’s shoulder had been fractured, presumably from the Captain’s “discipline”, leaving her with a permanent disability. Having spent so much of her young life with humans Jimi had a difficult social adjustment to other juvenile chimpanzees at the Sanaga-Yong Center. But today Jimi is the oldest of nine chimpanzees living in the nursery, and she is loved by them as well as her caregivers. Although she plays, laughs and grooms with the slightly younger chimpanzees, she still spends a fair amount of her time sitting alone, which is unusual for a chimpanzee her age.
Tati, Jimi, Amigo, Katchka, and Chouki were all kept as "pets" before being rescued. Read Primates Not Pets to learn more about their stories, the issues of primates kept as "pets" and legislation in the US to stop this practice.
Update: Spring 2007~ Jimi, Katchka, Tati and Amigo were integrated and now live together, as a family.