In 2005 memoirist, essayist, and poet Charles Siebert paid a visit to a Wauchula, Florida, "retirement home" for over-the-hill apes, ex-movie-and-circus stars. Among these "castoffs...of our laughter" was Roger, an antisocial, insomniac Ringling Brothers chimp who seemed to recognize Siebert and be drawn to him. Clearly, the two needed some face time. An all-night stare-down, filled with mutual appreciation, is the emotional underpinning of The Wauchula Woods Accord, which asks hard questions about the ethics of fashioning and discarding "humanzees" like Roger—and tries to counter the curse of being only human.
— Cathleen Medwick
Printed from Oprah.com on Saturday, March 15, 2014