Meet Terry and Jeannie, the Chimpanzees That Refuse to Let Go of Each Other's Hands

While some chimpanzees might try to assert dominance, Terry and Jeannie hit it off right away.

When these two chimpanzees met for the first time, they held hands and never let go.

"Chimps are just like humans in that some chimps don't get along with other chimps," Executive Director at Save the Chimps Molly Polidoroff told

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The sanctuary's staff can usually get a feeling for which chimps might get along based on their unique personalities, Polidoroff said.

When they first introduced Terry and Jeannie, they were able to capture this sweet moment on camera. 

After the video was taken, Terry and Jeannie walked back out to the outdoor island together hand-in-hand, reassuring sanctuary staff that the two chimpanzees had become fast friends.

"The hand-holding can either be pure affection, or it could be a greeting," Polidoroff said. Because chimpanzees have a 98 percent DNA match with humans, chimpanzee caregivers can often interpret a chimpanzee's intention based on similar human emotions.

However, the immediate affection is rare among chimpanzees, Polidoroff said. "It's not uncommon when chimps are first introduced to have a little bit of aggression, to try to establish a dominance."

"In Terry's case, he's a very sweet chimp." Polidoroff said, anticipating he would become friends with Jeannie from the get-go.

Polidoroff told that it is very important to introduce chimps to one another because they are extremely social animals. Companionship and interaction with other chimps can be important to their quality of life.

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Save the Chimps often rescues chimpanzees from bio-medical research labs or the pet trade to live out long and healthy lives at their sanctuary.

Mika Roberts, a representative from Save The Chimps, told that Terry is somewhere in his late-30s. He was once trained for the Ice Capades and was ultimately rescued from a zoo on the brink of shutting down.

Jeannie, however, comes from a very different background. They estimate that she was born in the wild around 1966 and captured as an infant. She was later rescued from a biomedical research lab, and brought to Save the Chimps.

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