Gua was a chimpanzee raised as though she were a human child by scientists Luella and Winthrop Kellogg alongside their infant son Donald. Gua was the first chimpanzee to be used in a cross-rearing study in the US. Gua was born on November 15, 1930 in Havana, Cuba. She was given, along with her mother, Pati, and her father, Jack, to the old Orange Park, Florida site of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center by Pierre Abreu on May 13, 1931 after the death of his mother, Madame Rosalia Abreu. Gua was brought into the Kellogg home at the age of 7 1/2 months, and reared with their son Donald, who was 10 months old at the time. For nine months the Kelloggs raised the two as “brother and sister”, and comprehensively recorded the development of the chimpanzee and the human child. When around one year old, Gua often tested ahead of Donald in such tasks as responding to simple commands or using a cup and spoon. Slight differences in their placement included people recognition. Gua recognized people from their clothes and their smell while Donald recognized them by their faces.
The parting difference came with language. Donald was about 16 months and Gua was a little over a year old when they had language testing. Gua could not speak, but Donald could form words. On March 28, 1932, nine months into it, the Kelloggs officially ended the experiment as Donald began to copy Gua’s sounds. Gua was returned to the primate center with Robert Yerkes in Florida, where she did experimental work with Yerkes’ wife Ada. The Kelloggs returned to Indiana. Gua died of pneumonia on December 21, 1933, and less than a year after her human “stepbrother” Donald Agger Kellogg and she were separated. She had just turned 3. Many videos posted on YouTube coming from the archives of Emory University, Wesleyan University, Kellogg University and other institutions continue to memorialize Gua, her short life, and her contribution to psychology.
- November, 15, 1930
- Havana, Cuba
- December, 21, 1933
Cause of Death