February 21, 2010

The Life and Death of Lucy

On This American Life this week, one of the pieces covered the life of Lucy, a Chimpanzee who was raised by human parents from WNYC's Radio Lab.

Lucy was only two years old when she was adopted by Dr. Maurice K. Temerlin and his wife Jane so he could conduct a psychological study on how close to human Lucy could become. But Lucy got caught between humans and chimps in a way that she could never overcome. Learning to live without humans after she grew up is an even more interesting story than the one of her years with the Temerlins. It's a sad, compelling story and one that makes for some fascinating radio.

Posted by Mary at February 21, 2010 11:18 AM | The Arts | Technorati links |
Comments

I opine that these are absolutely fascinating monkey stories. They can lead the reader/listener to consider what it means to be human, how we can be decent humans, and therefore how we should treat animals.

Posted by: Flo at February 23, 2010 10:50 AM

It's interesting, people have varying opinions on what level of suffering animals actually experience, and what constitutes a quality life for them. I think they have souls but its probably very different.

Posted by: Damiana at February 23, 2010 08:01 PM

I listened to that story about Lucy just now (I subscribe to This American Life) and it made me very sad. The report touched very little on how the Temerlins felt about having to be separated from her. At several points she is referred to as their 'daughter' but also the subject of their experiment. I'm not very well informed about the officially sanctioned guidelines in terms of animal experimentation but this particular one seemed to be to be very cruel.

Posted by: Angela at February 28, 2010 07:08 PM

I opine that these are absolutely fascinating monkey stories. They can lead the reader/listener to consider what it means to be human, how we can be decent humans, and therefore how we should treat animals.

Posted by: ed hardy at February 28, 2010 07:38 PM