Jethro is the youngest of Fauna’s family, by three months. He and Binky were only eight when they came in 1997. Jethro has always been the most social and socially-skilled of all our youngsters. I know that Annie had a great hand in that, but all accounts from LEMSIP (Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates), say that Jethro was always wonderful, a loyal and sensible friend to his chimpanzee family. He was one of the more fortunate in his group and given the opportunity to spend time in social groups for more years than some of the others. From the time he was born in the lab, until he was about six years old, he was able to live with other youngsters and it was this that gave him the chance to acquire some valuable social skills. Skills that have helped him become one of the most loved and respected chimpanzees at Fauna.
Jethro, along with Annie, was responsible for creating one of the most valuable life styles at Fauna, a fission-fusion society. There is nothing more important in the life of a captive chimp than choice. The choice to move, to sleep, to select preferred foods, to go inside or stay outside, to choose a friend to spend the day with, or not. Jethro gets to make choices and often does. He moves a lot and knows how to ask for what he wants and has taught the others how to do the very same thing. He learned all this from our dear matriarch Annie.
Jethro has a good relationship with every chimpanzee at Fauna and has had a great relationship with all who have ever lived here. He was kind and loving with Tom and learned so much from him over the years. He adored Pepper, and still admires Sue Ellen from afar.
His relationship with Spock is one of great respect and kindness. He loves to spend time with Spock and Maya and looks forward to visits with them. He spends most of his time with Regis, who is more like a brother to him than anyone and has a great relationship with all of Fauna’s ladies.
Toby and Jethro have spent much time together, but of late do not seem to really hit it off and that is normal; part of the beauty of choice. They can, and do, choose if and when they want to be together. In the early years it was difficult for anyone to be with Yoko, he was so angry and aggressive towards the others, but as he has aged and mellowed, his relationship with Jethro has really grown and Jethro has a good friend in Yoko now too.
After the arrival of Tatu and Loulis, we see that Jethro is very interested in getting to know them. He tries to get peeks of Loulis and is seemingly mesmerized by Tatu. She is very social, totally outgoing and super interested in Jethro and the rest of the family. So, hopefully he will get to know Tatu and Loulis in the same way and become a good friend to them too.
As the baby of a group, Jethro has used his status wisely. He supports his family, protects them, prefers to break up fights and needs to be loved. Jethro is wise beyond his years, super social and very kind. He likes to move around; loves visiting, socialize and grooming and spends hours with his chimpanzee family.
When Jethro gets angry, he always expects an apology, and from my observations all these years, he is sensible. He has patience and tolerates a lot, but if someone crosses the line he reacts and there are consequences for them, but all is quickly forgiven. If the necessary apologies are made and he holds no grudges, which is so important for strong family relationships.
It’s been such a lesson for all of us here to witness the maturity, wisdom and teachings of Jethro. He has led Fauna’s chimpanzees into a new and better life over the years, one that provides diversity, change, challenge, exploration and great growth. Bless you Jethro for your strength and supportive nature. You are wise beyond your years and always have been.