Zira is a chimpanzee scientist who along with her fiance Cornelius met the astronaut Taylor. He was captured in a human hunt by gorilla soldiers. She seemed to have a fascination with Taylor with whom she dubbed Bright Eyes. Unlike many of the apes, she saw that Taylor possessed some form of intelligence unlike any other human. She found out first hand when Taylor stole her booklet and pencil to write down his name. Zira then smuggled Taylor home and showed him to Cornelius where Taylor demonstrated even more intelligence. Taylor could read a map, write, and even built a paper airplane which astounded them both. Taylor was taken back to a holding cell for humans eventually, but he managed to escape and revealed to the ape populace that he can speak.
Soon Zira and her fiance represented Taylor at a trial being held by Doctor Zaius who hates humans and sees them as animals. The trial did not go well in Taylor's favor and soon Zira and Cornelius were dismissed from their research and Taylor. She had a nephew who helped Taylor escape and they soon rode to the Forbidden City where Taylor learned the truth about mankind and that he is on Earth, but far in its future.
After Taylor disappeared, Zira and Cornelius met another Earth astronaut named Brent who had been sent to find Taylor and his crew. She and Cornelous helped to smuggle Brent out of Ape City and she never saw Brent or Taylor again.
Zira, Cornelius, and a colleague named Milo managed to make way to Earth's past where they tell their story to the human populace and what their world is like. Zira is with child at this point, but soon Cornelius and Zira are suppose to be killed by the American government as is their child. their child ended up surviving thanks to a kind circus owner.
Zira was kind towards humans and believed that they were not mindless beasts as many of her colleagues believed. She hated the gorilla soldiers who she saw as brutes and stupid.