Filed under: Chimpanzee Welfare, Chimps in entertainment | Tags: chimpanzee, Mona Foundation, rescue
Linda is now in her thirties but she has already witnessed the sickening murder of her family; she was kidnapped and then illegally trafficked from her home in Africa. Linda is a female chimpanzee who has endured a life of confinement and living in unnatural conditions, just so that she can be kept as a pet living in a private home.
Infant chimpanzees live very closely with their mothers, clinging to her body when travelling long distances to search for food, sharing her nest at night and suckling until at least three years old. As you can imagine, mother and child bonds are very strong. Family bonds are also very strong and infants are cherished by the family. Chimpanzee’s bodies and minds are highly adapted to live in the forest, to forage for a wide variety of foods including fruits, leaves, blossoms, seeds, pith, park, insects and even monkeys and small deer.
In order for a chimpanzee to become a pet, a series of sad and unforgivable events must take place. The baby chimp is stolen from the mother; she will not give up her child easily so she is usually shot; her family including the alpha male rush to help her and the baby and they are shot too. Up to 10 chimpanzees may be shot on that day. The traumatized baby is then taken and trafficked very long distances in a small crate with little food or water. Normally only one in ten chimps will survive this cruelty.
The baby is then forced into a life unsuitable to the needs of a very active and very intelligent individual. Often forced to wear human clothes and given a human diet which is not suitable for the chimpanzee. This results in serious psychological and physiological problems, many irreversible. Baby chimpanzees are often seen rocking uncontrollably as a result of maternal deprivation.
These chimpanzees are suffering because they are not living the life that they have evolved to live. Young infant chimps are viewed as cute and cuddly but they can be unpredictable and dangerous. When they reach adolescence around 7 years old, they get much stronger and become difficult to handle. The chimpanzee inevitable ends up locked up in tiny cage to languish there for the rest of its life, unless an organization steps in. The Mona sanctuary in Spain have agreed to rescue Linda, where she will then begin the slow process of rehabilitation and integration into her new chimp family. She will learn how to live like a chimpanzee, making her own choices daily and she will live the rest of her life free from exploitation and suffering. If you will like to donate to help with the rescue and rehabilitation of Linda please check out http://www.justgiving.com/help-us-rescue-linda
Filed under: Chimpanzee Welfare | Tags: chimpanzee, chimpanzee research, IOM report, NIH
by Lorraine Docherty
Primate welfare organizations are anxiously waiting for Dr. Frances Collin’s (the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)) decision regarding the fate of some 451 federally owned chimpanzees currently house in laboratories across the US and a suggested reserve of 50 chimpanzees that could be called upon to be used in invasive research should the need arise.
In January this year, the working Group on the use of chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research, released proposals for how the NIH should implement the IOM report, they also said that the agency should end six of the nine invasive studies that it funds. And the other three would be allowed to continue only if the animals’ environments are substantially improved, probably at great expense. Public comments have now been received in response to the working group recommendations and we expect to hear an announcement from Dr. Collins in the next few weeks.
Should Dr. Collins accept the working group recommendations, this will be a huge milestone overcome in animal-research practice and policy, and confirmation of something that chimpanzee welfare experts have known, for some time, that chimpanzees are not necessary for medical research and their use in research is therefore unjustified and unethical.
Although huge steps have been taken to end chimpanzee experimentation and I commend the NIH for moving forward on this issue. There are still major questions about what will happen to these ex-laboratory chimpanzees? Major issues that need to be addressed are: (1) Who will fund the retirement of these chimpanzees? It costs around $20,000 per year per chimpanzee to house them at a sanctuary which means that it could cost an estimated 9 million dollars per year to house these federally owned chimpanzees and (2) Are there enough accredited sanctuaries in the US with the necessary facilities to house infected individuals because it would be inappropriate to keep these chimpanzees in laboratory facilites and (3) What is going to happen to the 100 or so privately owned chimpanzees currently held in other laboratories and still being subjected to invasive research?