Date of Birth: CAPTURED IN AFRICA (estimated birth in 1923)
Wendy was originally from Kiribi, Cameroon. Yerkes purchased her and Pan on September 15, 1925 from the third officer of a Bull Line freighter called the "Cathlamet" that was docked in Boston harbor. Roberta Yerkes Blanshard was with her father when they purchased Pan and Wendy and remembers Wendy "cowering as far under the bunk as she could get." She wrote that the first sight of this abused and frightened chimp, "with her pointed devil ears, is engraved upon" her memory. Wendy was one of the first four chimps.
Date of Death: November 3, 1971
After leaving Africa, Wendy lived in Franklin, NH; New Haven, CT; Orange Park, FL; before she died of a stroke in Atlanta, GE. Wendy was 48 years old when she died.
Children: Bob (with Bill), Tim, Eve, Web, Ked, Becky, Chow, Kandy (with Bokar), Jed and Jenny (with Jack).
Also known: Yerkes describes Wendy as “highly ingenius and destructive, usually dominant, aggressive, and very courageous, willful, obstinate, unpredictable, rash, determined, persistent, and unaffectionate.” She was stubborn, and at a young age was able to coordinate other chimps in collective forms of revolt against certain experimental procedures. She wasn't shy about expressing her disapproval toward human and chimpanzee alike.
One of Wendy's principle pleasures was to outwit her captors in escape episodes. Wendy would often pick as inconspicuous a spot in her enclosure as possible and with patience and savy, she would produce an opening to squeeze through. When she thought someone might have caught on, she would distract them by making a scene away from her escape spot. When she did escape her enclosure, she would return at a time of her choosing, usually for dinner.
Wendy had long, deep friendships with three other female chimpanzees, Pati, Soda, and Josie. “Wendy and Pati were put in separate cages for the 340-mile overnight trip from Orange Park to the new Yerkes [in Atlanta]. Pati was the first animal unloaded and when Wendy was let into their cage at the Center with Pati, they embraced and hugged like two college classmates at a 70th reunion.”