Billy Joe's life started as a circus chimp. It was during this time that all his teeth were removed. After 15 years of the circus, Billy was "retired" to a life as a research subject. In 14 years at the LEMSIP, Billy was knocked down over 289 times - 65 by dart with 4 or 5 men surrounding his cage pummeling darts into his body to anaesthetize him for a routine blood draw. In the lab he would shake his cage back and forth trying desperately to prevent anyone from approaching.
In addition to being infected with HIV, Billy endured some 40 punch liver biopsies, 3 open wedge liver biopsies, 3 bone marrow biopsies and 2 lymph node biopsies with no tangible or practical results. Billy was so stressed at LEMSIP that he once chewed off his thumbs after waking up from anesthesia with no one was around to care for him. During one fit of anxiety, Billy bit off his index finger. Anxious, aggressive, and fearful, Billy often banged incessantly on his cage, rocking and staring into space when left alone. Even at the Fauna Foundation, Billy was plagued by anxiety attacks-attacks so bad that they left him choking, gagging and convulsing. But Gloria and the other caretakers still describe him as their "sweet prince" and say he loved to feel loved.
Sadly, Billy died in February 2006 at the young age of 37 years. The cause of Billy's death is suspected as being from a heart attack. The Fauna Foundation misses him dearly.