A “humanzee” baby was once born at a research lab, evolutionary psychologist claims.
Gordon Gallup, a renowned evolutionary psychologist known for developing the “self-recognition” technique that proved that primates can identify themselves in the mirror, claims that a real “humanzee” baby was once born at the research facility, where he used to work.
Gallup said this interspecies experiment happened back in the 1920s in Florida, LADbible reports. However, as the scientists working on the hybrid project panicked in the process, they euthanized the infant on moral and ethical grounds.
The psychologist told The Sun:
“One of the most interesting cases involved an attempt which was made back in the 1920s in what was the first primate research center established in the US in Orange Park, Florida.
They inseminated a female chimpanzee with human semen from an undisclosed donor and claimed not only that pregnancy occurred but the pregnancy went full term and resulted in a live birth.
But in the matter of days or a few weeks, they began to consider the moral and ethical considerations and the infant was euthanized.”
Gallup’s term “humanzee” became well known in the 1970s after the emergence of a creature known as Oliver – a bald chimp who walked on his hind legs. People believed Oliver might be a hybrid, but in the 1990s, it was proven that he was a chimpanzee.
Experts believe creating humanzees could have massive ramifications with regards to growing human organs for transplants.
For instance, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, a Spanish scientist, claimed to have successfully grown the world’s first human-monkey hybrid. Belmonte insisted that the creature was viable and could have been born had the process not been aborted.
However, Gallup reveals that the idea of creating an interspecies between humans and primates is not a new one. In fact, it has been around for a long time, with the first attempt being made in the 1920s. Though, the experiment didn’t go as planned since the scientists were forced to euthanize the humanzee.
The psychologist found out about this from a professor who worked at the center until it moved to another university in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1930. He stresses:
“He told me the rumor was true. And he was a credible scientist in his own right.”