The Rise and Fall of the 'Humanzee'
Young Oliver was stolen from his family in the Congo in the 1960s and brought to the United States to be used for entertainment. He became known as the "humanzee" because of his tendency to walk upright rather than on his knuckles like most chimpanzees. He became an international curiosity and was exploited as a so-called "chimpanzee-human hybrid." He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and was rumored to smoke cigars and drink alcohol. Behind the scenes, he was tethered and dragged around by a chain tied around his neck.
When the public lost interest in the "humanzee," Oliver was sold to the Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania, where he lived alone in a lab cage until 1996. By the time he was eventually released from the lab, Oliver had suffered several strokes, his eyesight was failing, and his muscles had atrophied.