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Nim Chimpsky was, perhaps, the most qualified linguist of his race. The fact that he was one of the only linguists of his race detracts very little from the significance of his accomplishments.

Nim Chimpsky, named jokingly after linguist and anarchist Noam Chomsky, was born in 1973 to chimpanzees Pan and Carolyn, and died March 10, 2000 (of natural causes). In the interim of those two periods, he participated in Project Nim, a scientific attempt to teach a chimpanzee to use language in the same fashion as humans.

Though, obviously, chimpanzees cannot vocalize human speech, Nim was taught American Sign Language in a controlled setting where he was raised with a human family as would be a child. Nim was, after four years, able to use sign language with a large degreee of ease and clarity. When funding for the project ceased in 1977, he was sent to a research facility to aid in testing of a hepatitis vaccine, but the efforts of the late Cleveland Amory, head of a number of animal rights organizations, in combination with the publicity spawned by Project Nim allowed Nim to be returned to UO, from where he was retired to the Black Beauty Ranch in 1983.

His final words on March 9, 2000 noted that "all the animals were well, that the sun was shining, and that it was a beautiful time at the Ranch."(TFFA) He died the next day. Reportedly, it was raining.