Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oliver the Humanzee
In 1960, Oliver was acquired as a young animal by trainers Frank and Janet Berger. Supposedly, the chimp was caught in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sold on the exotic animal black market. 

In appearance, Oliver clearly stands out in a group of male chimpanzees, as he has many human-like features. He looks nothing like a normal Common Chimpanzee and holds a flatter face. Oliver is a habitually bipedal animal. He has always walked upright and never moved on his knuckles like other chimps.

He holds a bizarre pointed ear shape, freckles and a bald head. The Berger’s raised Oliver until 1977, when he was sold to Ralph Helfer and put on public display in a sideshow. In a 2006 interview with the Discovery Channel, Janet Berger, his owner at the time, claimed that she sold Oliver after he started tying to mate with her.
Supposedly, a test performed in the 1980s proved that Oliver contained only forty-seven chromosomes, instead of the normal forty-eight. However, this claim has not supported by scientific evidence and has been refuted by a geneticist from the University of Chicago, who tested Oliver’s blood and found that he had the normal forty-eight chromosomes.

Since that time, Oliver’s DNA has not been tested. He will not be made available for any DNA style inquiries again. In 1998, Oliver was given a spacious, open-air cage at the Primarily Primates sanctuary in the US state of Texas. Oliver died peacefully in his sleep on June 2, 2012. (Source)

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