The Punkeys have upped the ante. Apparently this ape has shed all its hair in an attempt to look more human and enter our society undetected. From the St. Louis Zoo:

Who is Cinder?

Cinder was an unexpected baby. Her mother, Mollie, and father, Smoke, were brought to the Saint Louis Zoo to become foster parents to Hugo. The two were experienced parents, but their last baby was born nine years earlier and it was thought that child was to be their last. Thus, our surprise when Mollie gave birth to a healthy baby girl on August 9, 1994. Mollie comfortably slipped back into the role of mother and Smoke was a laid-back and gentle father.

Hair One Day … Gone the Next

Newborn Cinder had a beautiful, full coat of hair. Nothing unusual, baby chimpanzees are born with hair, but what followed was unusual. When she was about five months old, we noticed that Cinder was losing some hair. She continued to lose her hair and in a definite pattern, first from her lower body and gradually extending up until after close to a year, Cinder was completely bald. We invited veterinary and medical doctors to consult with our veterinarians while we ran a variety of diagnostic tests. She was treated for a brief time with suggested medications, but in the end nothing helped. Cinder was diagnosed with alopecia areata, which “is a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This common but very challenging and capricious disease affects approximately 1.7 percent of the population overall, including more than 4.7 million people in the United States alone” according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. When there is a total loss of hair, as in the case of Cinder, the condition is referred to as alopecia universalis. Cinder is otherwise a normal, healthy chimpanzee and, unlike humans, is not faced with the psychological and social challenges the disease presents.

Cinder has never been treated differently by her parents or foster siblings. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and hair is not essential quality in the eyes of our chimpanzees. Indeed, Cinder was doted on by both parents to the point that we viewed her as spoiled. Mollie attended to her every need and refused to go anywhere without Cinder. The two slept in the same nest for years, longer than most chimpanzee mothers and daughters. Smoke was a playful father, ready to tickle and gently wrestle with his daughter whenever she was in the mood.

They’ve attempted this in the past, quite successfully:

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