A TWISTED experiment in the 20th century that saw a human baby raised alongside a chimp ended in chilling tragedy.
The sick experiment, carried out by animal psychologists Winthrop Kellogg and his wife Luella, was abruptly abandoned after the scientists noticed disturbing results.
The couple set out on a bizarre experiment to raise their baby son Donald with a female chimpanzee as “brothers and sisters”.
Gua was seven-and-a-half months old and Donald was a smidgen older at 10 months when the trial began.
Kellogg, fascinated by children raised in the wild with little to no human help, wanted to study more about their behaviour and the effects on other animals.
“What would be the nature of the resulting individual who had matured … without clothing, without human language and association with others of its kind?” he asked in his 1933 book The Ape and the Child.
The psychologist knew that abandoning a human child in the wilderness would be morally reprehensible so instead, he opted to bring an infant animal into modern society.
On June 26, 1931, Kellogg and his wife brought baby chimpanzee Gua home in a bid to see whether the environment would influence a chimp’s development – and how human they could make it.
They started raising their son Donald and Gua together as if they both were naturally siblings.
For the next nine months, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Kellogg and his devoted wife – both comparative psychologists – conducted test after test on Donald and Gua.
They were raised in the exact same way: they both wore baby onesies, made to sit in a high chair, slept in a bed and were kissed good night, though Gua was carted around in a small wagon.
Gua was taught the kind of things a fond parent would do to a baby girl.
All the while, Kellogg ran a barrage of medical tests on both the babies.
Authors in The Psychological Record note the twisted mind probed Gua and Donald’s “blood pressure, memory, body size, scribbling, reflexes, depth perception, vocalization, locomotion, reactions to tickling, strength, manual dexterity, problem-solving, fears, equilibrium, play behaviour, climbing, obedience, grasping, language comprehension, attention span”.
Kellogg and his wife would tap Donald and Gua’s heads with spoons to hear the difference in the sound of their skulls and make loud noises to see who would react faster.
They were also pushed to complete cruel tests in which they were put through a labyrinth and forced to get out while the perimeters changed around them.
They even tried to convince Gua not to eat soap bubbles by jamming a bar of the product into her mouth.
One eerie footage of the experiment shows Gua and Donald being put in high chairs and being spun round and round until they start crying.
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While Gua excelled in the majority of the tests Kellogg and Luella were carrying out, things took a shocking shift when both Donald and Gua turned one.
Gua’s physical advantages were slowly eclipsed by Donald’s ability to formulate words and the doctors soon realised they had hit the chimp’s limit of intelligence.
Gua and Donald would wrestle in a way that looked more chimp-like and she had taught her older brother her mannerisms.
Donald began biting people and crawled like his sister. He grunted and barked like her when he wanted more food.
He grunted and barked like his “sister” when he wanted more food and would mimic her behaviours.
Donald also began to move on all fours like the chimp – and the two would even wrestle like two wild animals.
Seeing what was happening to their son, the couple pulled the plug on the five-year-long experiment in just nine months – and Gua was sent away.
Just a year later, Gua died of pneumonia aged three.
And while not much more is known about Donald, he later killed himself aged just 43.
Kellogg continued with his work in the field of animal psychology at Florida State University where he took up research on bottle-nose dolphins and sonar until his retirement in 1963.
He and his wife Luella both died in the summer of 1972.