Mary was the supervisor of a primate research facility, and the kind caregiver and trainer of the young bonobo Koba and his mother. She taught them Sign Language and how to count and speak using buttons. She would reward Koba with cookies whenever he pleased her and occasionally let the two bonobos outside to play on a tree. Mary also had a kind assistant named Kuo, who she sent to bring Koba inside whenever he finished playing. However, one day, Kuo, for unknown reasons, left the facility and was replaced by a man named Roger.
Mary was well aware of the fact that Koba and his mother believed they were human, since they had been raised to communicate with humans and not other apes, but never made any attempts to change this and very questionably never taught Koba what the word "chimp" meant. One day, while having Koba and his mother demonstrate their signing skills to a large crowd of people, Mary presented a non-signing chimpanzee named Wanda to them and asked Koba to identify her. When Koba referred to Wanda as a "big black caterpillar", Mary explained to the crowd how and why Koba identified himself with humans, which Koba didn't understand.
The next day, Mary took Koba outside to play again. However, when she sent Roger to bring him inside, Roger began abusing the young bonobo, so Mary took over the situation and took Koba inside herself, but not before reprimanding Roger for his needless abuse.
The next day, when Mary came to check on Koba and his mother in their cage, she discovered, to her shock, that Koba's mother was dead, having been fatally beaten by Roger during the night. She was visibly distraught by the discovery and even closed Koba's mother's still-open eyes so she could rest in peace. Mary then took Koba, who didn't understand that his mother was dead, outside to play, and while he was outside she removed his mother's corpse from the cage. When Mary brought Koba back inside, Koba asked for his mother, to which Mary gently told him that his mother was gone, though Koba still didn't understand.
Over the next few days, Mary spent less and less time with Koba. As a result of the death of Koba's mother, Mary's project funding was cut, which she gently and regretfully told Koba while holding him for the last time. Before Koba was placed in a truck to be sent to a new home, Mary promised that the home Koba was being sent to would be good.
Despite the kindness and affection she showed Koba, Mary made a huge mistake that would forever change Koba's views on himself and humanity by not telling him that he was an ape. Mary's last words to Koba turned out to be false, as he was sent to an abusive TV producer named Tommy.
Many years later, after suffering all forms of abuse and torture at the hands of humans, and finally being derided by Steven Jacobs as a mere animal, Koba lost all affection he once had for humans, including Mary, who he concluded had lied to him that he was human, which was partly accurate as Mary had let Koba believe so.
Mary was a kind and caring woman who treated her pets well. She genuinely cared for them, as she reprimanded Roger for his abusive handling methods, cried when Koba's mother was killed and apologized to Koba about it afterwards. However, Mary also had a somewhat deceitful side, as she never bothered to tell Koba that he was an ape or that non-signing apes were like him, a decision which had dire consequences in the future.
More to come…
More to come…