Date of Birth: September 11, 1930
Alpha was the first chimpanzee born in the YLPB.
Date of Death: April 13, 1966
One week after having a c-section, Alpha died from complications associated with a reproductive tumor. She was 35 years old when she died.
Parents: Pan and Dwina
Children: Alf and Flora (with Frank)
Also Known: Alpha was certainly the most studied chimpanzee in the early period of chimpanzee research in the US. She was the first chimp to have been reared by humans. Many scientific articles have been published that discuss her social behavior, her problem solving abilities, her mating behavior, her pregnancies, and her love of art. In 1947, D.O. Hebb published a report about her "spontaneous neurosis" in which he describes Alpha as "having a strong liking for human company, not getting on well with other female chimpanzees [although she lived with a group of three other female chimps, Kambi, Bula, and Bimba for much of her childhood], obstinate, not overly bright, and with apparently trivial exception, well adjusted emotionally. The exceptions were Freudian: a definite avoidance of any carrot that was forked or double-rooted and of long, narrow cylindrical pieces of food such as okra; and a marked tendency to masturbate against the water faucet projecting from the wall of her cage, whenever human beings came in sight."