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"Son... will know... who... was... father. And what... Caesar... did... for us."
―Maurice's promise to Caesar before his passing [src]

Maurice is a compassionate and noble evolved orangutan, and the main advisor and most trusted confidant of the late Ape King Caesar. He helped rise up against the humans in the Ape Rebellion, oversaw the teaching of the ape colony, and helped stop Colonel McCullough from capturing and killing the apes. He also took in the human girl Nova and raised her as his own.

Biography

Early Life

Maurice was born in 2001, and began life as a circus orangutan to entertain children. Growing up, he witnessed the cruelty of humans, especially towards his fellow apes, from his cage, but was also taught American Sign Language by a kind circus worker. Before turning fifteen, Maurice was sold from his circus and sent to the San Bruno Primate Shelter just outside of San Francisco, where he bunkered with fellow apes Rocket, Cornelia, Buck, and countless others. The shelter's abusive handler, Dodge Landon, tormented the apes, and made Maurice fearful of humanity, but also wise with experience of how to stay safe from them.[1]

The Ape Rebellion

Caesar Rises

In 2016, a hyper-intelligent chimpanzee named Caesar was brought to the shelter. Caesar's mind was enhanced by ALZ-112, a revolutionary Alzheimer's drug, injected into his mother while she was pregnant with him, making him the first of a new breed of evolved apes. Since childhood, he was raised in comfort by a scientist named Will Rodman, wearing clothes, communicating through Sign Language, but never interacting with other apes. Maurice befriended Caesar after Rocket humiliated and assaulted him, showing him the ways of the facility, and warned him not to show his intelligence, lest Dodge torment him more. Caesar at first followed Maurice's lead, but after being rejected by his adoptive father, Caesar felt betrayed and angry, and began forming a plan to free the apes from the facility.

Caesar stole a switchblade from one of Dodge's friends, and when all the humans were gone, escaped his cage and unlocked Rocket's. The two fought in the large play area, and Caesar won, establishing himself as the new alpha of the apes. Caesar then began planning what to do with his new power, but Maurice pointed out that the apes weren't as smart as him, and couldn't be organized. This inspired Caesar to escape from the shelter, steal two canisters of ALZ-113, the upgraded Alzheimer's drug that made Caesar so intelligent, and rupture the canisters in the shelter, exposing the drug's vapor it to all the other apes and granting them all heightened intelligence, including Maurice. With the apes now near his level of intelligence, Caesar began teaching them all Sign, and with Maurice's help, began plotting a massive uprising, and the liberation of the apes in the shelter.[1]

Liberation of the Apes

After the apes returned to their cells for the night, Maurice watched as Caesar remained in the play area and confronted Dodge, and the two fought. Towards the end of their fight, Caesar grabbed Dodge's arm, and when Dodge ordered he be released Caesar yelled "NO!" in English, shocking the apes and humans alike. Caesar was then forced to kill Dodge to save his apes, which shocked and saddened him. With the apes now organized as an army, Maurice and the others followed Caesar's lead out of the shelter and to the outskirts of San Francisco.

Caesar divided his forces, and joined Maurice with a strike team including Rocket to Gen-Sys Laboratories, where the ALZ-113 was testing on other apes. When they arrived at the lab, they terrorized the human employees and scientists, and freed the ape test subjects, including a horribly scarred, bitter bonobo named Koba. The group then rendezvoused with the other troop led by Buck, who had freed and recruited all the apes from the San Francisco Zoo. Caesar then led the army to the Golden Gate Bridge, while Buck and Maurice fought off the police attempting to stop them on their way there. They finally reached the bridge and prepared to cross to their final destination, the Muir Woods Park beyond the bridge.

Halfway across the bridge, the apes were attacked by law enforcement officers, who tried preventing them from going any further. On Caesar's command, Maurice, the other orangutans, and apes with young moved to the underside of the bridge, swinging from the bars to get to the other side, while the other apes fought topside. After they made it a fair distance, Caesar signaled Maurice and the orangutans to climb back up and begin aiding the battle with the humans. They overpowered and disarmed the humans, and after Buck sacrificed himself to stop a helicopter firing on them from above, the apes made their way across the bridge, finally arriving at the Muir Woods, where they started a new society free of human oppression.[1]

Dawn of Civilization

Along with Koba and Rocket, Maurice served as one of Caesar's commanders in the apes' struggle for survival, and they worked through many hardships together. He helped build a large thriving village in the woods, and became the overseer and teacher of the young apes of the colony. He taught them Sign Language so they could better communicate, and Caesar's founding laws, such as "Ape not kill ape", and "Apes together strong".

Maurice only grew closer to Caesar, who had sired Cornelia as his wife and had a son in the steadfast and reckless Blue Eyes. Maurice and Caesar came to see each other as brothers, with Blue Eyes even viewing Maurice as an uncle figure. He also joined the Ape Council, and helped their civilization make complex decisions.

Over the ten years that followed the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, the ALZ-113 spread as an airborne virus known as the Simian Flu, which made the apes smarter, but began to wipe out the human population worldwide. By 2026, the vast majority of humans were dead, with isolated pockets of survivors remaining, and Maurice and the others hadn't seen any in two years; with some apes believing that humans have become extinct. Maurice came to realize that he never truly knew the good side of humans, only their cruel nature towards apes, but unlike Koba, now another council member, he bore no resentment towards them, and both were unlike Caesar, who had seen both humanity's cruel and kind natures.[2][3]

Conflict with the Humans

Discovering Human Survivors

In 2026, the apes came across a group of humans in their forest, one of whom, Carver, shot Rocket's son, Ash, out of fear. When he heard the gunshot, Maurice joined Caesar and a group of apes to confront and intimidate the humans. The apes scared off the humans, and they fled, with a human teenager, Alexander, dropping his satchel as he ran. As Koba and some other apes followed the humans to the ruins of San Francisco, Maurice took an interest in the satchel, which contained within it a sketchbook and a graphic novel, fascinating him and making him see a softer, kinder side of humanity he hadn't seen before.

The council then convened to decide what to do about the humans, and while Koba and Blue Eyes insisted they attack to protect their village, Maurice and a gorilla named Luca acknowledged it may be dangerous to engage them in battle, and they didn't know why the humans were even there to begin with. Caesar then concluded the meeting, siding with Maurice and announcing he had a peaceful way to deal with the humans.

The next morning, Maurice and an army apes marched on horseback to San Francisco to confront the human colony. Maurice watched as Caesar confronted Malcolm and Dreyfus, the human leaders, and the entire colony. Caesar announces that while the apes do not want war, they will fight to protect their home, while stating if the humans stay in their territory, the apes will stay in theirs.[3]

Aiding Malcolm's Group

Soon after the apes' march into the city, the human co-leader, Malcolm, made his way to the ape village with a small group. He explained to Caesar that they had been out in the woods looking for a dam that could produce power for their colony, and allow them to continue to survive. Malcolm showed the apes the dam, and Caesar agreed to let them stay and work on it. While the team worked on the dam, Maurice met with Alexander, who turned out to be Malcolm's son. Alexander was nervous, but offered to show him more of his drawings and comics, allowing Maurice to finally embrace the goodness of humanity, and take it along with their dark side.

After a disagreement about guns and the banishment of Carver, Maurice and some of the other apes joined Malcolm's group in trying to repair the dam. When Koba returned from scouting out the city, he demanded to see Caesar, and tried to attack Alexander and Malcolm, who he believed were against the apes. However, Maurice, in his newfound sympathy for humans, came between Koba and Malcolm, protecting his new friends.[3]

Koba's Usurpation

When the dam was repaired and San Francisco had its power restored, the apes joined in a massive celebration for both their success and the recovery of Cornelia, who had been suffering from a horrible illness. During the celebration, the sound of a gunshot rang out, and Caesar's body fell from the trees to the apes' horror, all as the village burst into flames. In the midst of the confusion, Blue Eyes came out holding a human gun, and Koba declared the humans killed Caesar. Knowing Malcolm and his group were right next to him when Caesar was shot and they were in fact innocent, Maurice told them to run for their lives.

As the humans fled, Koba took control of the ape colony, and ordered a siege on San Francisco while the humans were vulnerable. Maurice, Rocket, Luca, and some other apes refused to follow Koba's violent uprising and kill humans, believing Caesar wouldn't have wanted this, and that Malcolm's group was innocent. As a result, Koba and his followers proceeded to lock them in old Simian Flu quarantine cells as they engaged the humans in a massive battle and took control of the city, all while Maurice watched helplessly from his cage.[3]

Restoring Caesar to Power

The day after the battle, Maurice and the other captives escaped with the help of Blue Eyes, who turned on Koba after he killed Ash. They then made their way to an abandoned house in the city's suburban areas, where they found a still-alive Caesar being nursed back to health by Malcolm's wife, Ellie. Knowing Koba was about to launch a full-scale war against the humans, Caesar led his allies back into the city, and to the top of a massive skyscraper where Koba was waiting, all while Malcolm argued with a vengeful Dreyfus, who wanted to kill the apes, at the base.

Maurice and the other apes watched in horror as Koba and Caesar viciously fought for the title of Ape King on the top of the tower. Just as the battle was reaching its peak, Dreyfus detonated the explosives he set along the tower's interior, sending Caesar and Koba flying and rubble crashing down over the apes. When the dust settled, Koba grabbed a hold of his gun, which he had tossed aside at the battle's beginning, and fired on Caesar and the other apes. Caesar managed to take cover, but Maurice's right cheek was grazed by one of the stray bullets, leaving a permanent scar. Seeing his wounded friend, a furious Caesar tackled Koba and left him dangling from a ledge, before dropping him to his death.[3]

The Human-Ape War

The War Begins

Despite Koba's demise, Malcolm informed the apes that Dreyfus had contacted a military base, who were on their way to San Francisco to fight the apes, before the final battle. Malcolm and his family were told to flee to safety by Caesar, and so they vanished into the night as the war began. Maurice then stood by Caesar's side as his chief advisor as the newly formed Ape Army fought the human military group, Alpha-Omega, in battle after battle, for the next two years.

In that time, Caesar became an angrier, more brutal ape, but still compromising and empathetic, simply trying to find a way to end the war and stop the bloodshed, with Maurice often acting as his voice of reason in many situations. The apes also found a new haven deep in the forest, hidden by large waterfall.[3][4]

Attack on the Apes' Home

Two years into the conflict, Alpha-Omega attacked an ape trench, resulting in an ape victory by with many casualties. Red. a former follower of Koba who joined Alpha-Omega as a turncoat group of apes called Donkeys, convinced a terrified gorilla named Winter to reveal the location of the apes' command base in exchange for his service and sparing his life. That night, Alpha-Omega's leader, Colonel McCullough, led a strike team into the apes' home, and while Caesar was occupied, slaughtered Cornelia and Blue Eyes. When Caesar found them dead in his bedroom, all empathy he had left for humans was stripped from him, and he became cold and emotional, with not even Maurice able to have him see reason.[4]

Trek of Vengeance

The day after the ambush, the ape colony prepared to trek out to a new home that Blue Eyes and Rocket had found weeks earlier. However, Caesar, blinded by his hatred, left his surviving young son, Cornelius, with Blue Eyes' widow, Lake, and began his own quest to find Alpha-Omega's base and kill the Colonel for what he'd done to his family. Joining him on his quest were Maurice, Rocket, and Luca, who insisted on coming to make sure he came back alive.

On their journey, they came across a young human girl, who was terrified of them and without anyone to care for her. Maurice calmed the girl down, and showed her the apes weren't their enemy, but the girl couldn't respond, being unable to speak. Maurice realized the girl wouldn't survive alone, and so insisted that they take her with them, despite Caesar's protests to abandon her. As the team continued their journey, Maurice began teaching her American Sign Language, and the two grew very close with Maurice becoming the girl’s surrogate father.

The team eventually came across an Alpha-Omega camp where they found Winter, who was now working for the Colonel's men. When Caesar and the others cornered him, Winter revealed that the Colonel was camping at a border base. Winter attempts to call for help, to which Caesar covers his mouth to prevent him from doing so; inadvertently suffocating him to death, as Maurice and the apes watches in shock.

It wasn't long before they made a startling discovery: Bad Ape, an aloof but empathetic ape gifted with the same intelligence as Maurice and the colony. Bad Ape revealed he was a zoo ape who gained intelligence from the Simian Flu and escaped an ape massacre at the height of the pandemic. While the group was with Bad Ape, he gifted the human girl a Chevy Nova car's wordmark, which became the inspiration for the name Maurice would give her, Nova. Bad Ape then revealed he had been to the border facility, and led the group there. On their journey, Maurice helped Caesar bond more with Nova, and his compassion for humanity began to return.

When the team reached the outskirts of the border facility, they were ambushed by human soldiers. Rocket and Luca killed them, saving the others, but at the cost of Luca's life. Maurice realized just how much of a risk it had been to come out to kill the Colonel, and urged Caesar to lead them back to rejoin the colony on their search for a new home. Caesar refused, more determined than ever to kill the man who had taken so much from him. Maurice pointed out that he sounded like Koba in his hateful obsession, and Caesar, furious at the comparison, ordered Maurice and the others to rejoin the colony alone, and left for the facility to kill the Colonel alone.[4]

Rescuing the Ape Colony

Despite Caesar's orders to leave him, Maurice and the others stayed behind, hoping Caesar would return, but after a day passed, they made their way to the base to make sure he was alright. When they arrived, they saw that not only had he been taken prisoner, but the entire ape colony had been captured and was being forced to build a wall to help protect Alpha-Omega from the opposing Northern Military. Horrified, Maurice and the others desperately began concocting a plan to free the apes before it was too late.

While Maurice and Rocket planned, Nova wandered into the camp and tried to help Caesar, and to save her life, Rocket allowed himself to be captured to distract the soldiers. Along with Caesar and Lake, Rocket began formulating a plan for escape from the inside, while Maurice, Bad Ape, and Nova located an underground tunnel that led under the complex's prisons. They used the tunnels to go underneath the prisons. While they were searching, Maurice told Nova that she was very brave, and that she was something beyond human and ape.

Maurice, Bad Ape, and Nova helped the apes out of their prisons and began herding them out of the facility just as the Northern Military arrived and fought Alpha-Omega, but Caesar planned to stay behind to finish off the Colonel, despite having regained empathy for humanity. When all the apes had escaped, they watched as the battle raged on, until finally Caesar destroyed a leaking gas tank with a grenade, destroying the base and only barely escaping to rejoin the colony.[4]

A New Home

Exodus to the Oasis

Led by Caesar and following Rocket's directions, Maurice and the ape colony trekked for miles through forests and across a desert to find the oasis Blue Eyes and Rocket found, a landscape with lush vegetable life and running water. The apes finally settled down in their new home, and Maurice sat with Caesar, who had spared the Colonel's life. As they sat admiring the apes' new home, Caesar revealed he suffered a fatal wound from the battle and would soon pass away.

A distraught Maurice began to cry, but Caesar promised that the colony would be fine without him. Maurice in turn promised to look after Cornelius, and that he would grow up knowing what his father stood for and everything he did for the apes. Caesar then died peacefully, knowing the apes were safe and he'd left behind a legacy of perseverance and honor that would be continued by Maurice and his son.[4]

Honoring Caesar

In honor of his friend and great leader, Maurice immortalized Caesar's legacy by writing a book he called Caesar’s Story, and had the other apes contribute the tales of their experiences with him to help preserve his memory for future generations.[5]

Personality

Maurice is a kind-hearted orangutan who speaks very little, was rather intelligent even before being exposed to the ALZ-113, and is immensely loyal to his friends. Despite his compassion towards other apes, he was rather cynical and pessimistic when he first met Caesar. When Caesar exposed all the apes to the 113 and led them to freedom, Maurice grew more hopeful and wise.[1]

As Maurice took on the role of teacher and council member in the new ape society, he also became Caesar’s main advisor and close confidante. However, he remained skeptical about whether there could be any good in humanity, as he only saw their darkness. However, when the apes encountered Malcolm's group, Maurice became fascinated by Malcolm's son, Alexander, and the two became friends, as Alexander taught him more of the human world. Maurice became softer and kinder towards humans, having now seen their capacity for both good and evil, and so stood by both the humans and Caesar during Koba's brief coup of the ape colony.[3]

When the apes went to war, Maurice was still sympathetic towards humans, but became willing to kill them to protect his people. He became Caesar's closest confidante as the war became more and more brutal, and acted as his voice of reason as Caesar descended into rage and vengeance after the Colonel killed his family. Caesar's growing brutality strained his relationship with Maurice, but in the end, the two were still fiercely loyal to one another.

Maurice's gentle nature also helped him care for the young human girl Nova, and take her in as his adoptive daughter. She helped make both Caesar and Maurice better because of her presence, strengthening Maurice's compassion for humans and returning Caesar to his empathetic state. When Caesar rescued the apes and led them all to a new home, free of the human soldiers that took so many ape lives, Maurice watched as his best friend and great leader quietly passed away. He promised him he would care for his remaining son, and honored his legacy with a book chronicling his life, loyal to his friend to his last moments of life.[4][5]

Abilities

  • Animal Strength: Like all orangutans, Maurice is extremely powerful and strong, during the Ape Rebellion, he is proven to be strong enough to lift a manhole lid and throw it at one of the police cars, which caused it to crash into a police car. In War Maurice was able to beat Boyle to death with ease.
  • Genius-Level Intellect: Maurice's intellect is the highest among all apes and even humans; surpassed only by Caesar, Blue Eyes and Cornelius, even before Maurice was exposed to the ALZ-113, he had some level of intelligence, after Caesar arrived at the ape shelter, he was observing him and realize that the latter is much more intelligent than a normal ape, after he was exposed to the ALZ-113, Maurice became much more intelligent than before. By the time of the events of Dawn; Maurice's intelligence and IQ has increased to the point when he has been appointed by Caesar as one of the teachers of the new generation of apes, as well as being the overseer of the San Francisco Ape Colony.
  • Sign Language: Like Caesar, Maurice knows sign language, as he uses it as a way of communication, little is known about how or by who he learned it from, other then that he came from the circus. In Dawn, Maurice is seen teaching the young apes the basics of sign language in order for them to communicate proving that he is very skilled in teaching it to other apes as many apes either evolved or otherwise have learned the art from him and Caesar.
  • Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant: Due to Maurice being the third-in-command of the Ape Army, he is a capable combatant. As seen when the apes were battling the humans during the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Maurice was able to defeat many police officers before they were forced to retreat.
  • Expert Horse Rider: Like many of the other apes, Maurice is able to ride a horse with ease.
  • Expert Leader: During the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Maurice was seen as a capable leader as seen when he led the orangutans and some of the chimpanzees under the bridge in order to attack the police officers when their attention was focused on the other apes, this tactic was successful in obtaining victory.
  • Speech: Having inhaled the ALZ-113, like the other evolved apes, Maurice has gained the ability of speech. During Dawn, his only dialogue outside of sign language is one word, "Run" which was warning for Malcolm and his family to flee when Koba took power. In War, he spoke to give Nova her name, at the end, it is revealed Maurice's speech is broken as he spoke to Caesar before his death, promising him that Cornelius will know who his father was and what he did for him and the ape colony.

Relationships

Notes

  • Maurice was one of the main protagonists in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the deuteragonist in War for the Planet of the Apes. He also served as the main narrator of Caesar’s Story.
  • Maurice was named in tribute to Maurice Evans, who played chief orangutan Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes, although the movie used the American pronunciation of his name ("Maw-reece") rather than Evans' own British pronunciation ("Morris").
  • In Battle for the Planet of the Apes, both the Lawgiver - the wise historian - and Virgil - the advisor - were portrayed as orangutans. The portrayal of Maurice reflects the lineage of just, wise orangutans from the original movies like the Lawgiver and Dr. Zaius.
  • Maurice is the only known Orangutan in the Ape Colony to have been given the ALZ-113 drug.
    • It is likely the orangutans have been exposed to the virus after living with the other apes for so long.
  • At age twenty-five during Dawn, Maurice was one of the six oldest apes to appear.
    • The other apes were Koba, Buck, Luca, Rocket, and Caesar.
    • Out of those six, Maurice and Rocket are the only ones that are still alive.
  • After Caesar's death, it can be assumed that Maurice played some role in raising Cornelius alongside Lake and Rocket.
  • In War, Maurice is showing small signs of adaptation, as he appears to be able to knuckle-walk and arch his back like chimpanzees and gorillas, as opposed to an orangutan's traditional fist-walking and their back appears hunched.

Trivia

  • There are many postings on Karin Konoval's official public Facebook page that tell about her experiences getting to know real life orangutans. Konoval later confirmed that Maurice was based on "feisty" Bruno from the Los Angeles Zoo, on the "heart and soul" of Towan from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and on Clyde the walking orangutan.[6]
  • Karin Konoval had to wear weights as part of her motion capture suit.
  • Maurice was the third known ape to speak in the Chernin-produced Apes franchise. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, he told the humans in the Ape Village to leave when Koba took over with only one word, "Run".
  • Maurice received a scar on the top of his right cheek after Koba fired at him, Blue-Eyes, Rocket and Luca.
  • Maurice is the first ape that Caesar ever communicated with in sign.
    • He was also the last ape he communicated with in English at the time of his death.

Gallery

Appearances

References

Planet of the Apes - Chernin Entertainment Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis
Families
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Animals
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of the Muir Woods Park | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
Caesar's Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys
Locations
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | The Border
Comics
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man
Novels
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Soundtracks
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes
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