A victorious day for the 66 abandoned research chimps left to perish on islands in Liberia.
After two years of constant pressure from animal welfare advocates, protests, marches and organizations alike, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) finally decided to contribute $6 million dollars towards the chimps’ lifelong care.
It’s really the least they could do!
The agreement announced today stipulates that the NYBC and The HSUS are effectively splitting costs for long-term care of the chimpanzees, which will include day-to-day care and also the construction of improved sanctuary facilities. The HSUS and HSI will take on responsibility for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees.
When the New York Times reported in May, 2015, that NYBC cut off all funding for the 66 remaining survivors of its research experiments and for the Liberians who took care of them, grass roots activists in NYC launched a protest campaign that targeted not only NYBC but also its top three corporate partners, IBM, MetLife, and Citigroup. After meeting with the activists and/or being subjected to protests, all three companies issued public statements severing ties with NYBC, and Citigroup made an unsolicited contribution of $50,000 toward the care of the chimps.
In a statement by Donny Moss, the founder of the animal welfare group Their Turn, and campaign organizer, “Our ability to compel multinational corporations to take the bold and unusual step of speaking out publicly against an organization with which they had a decades-long relationship demonstrates that grass roots advocacy can effect meaningful change.”
The HSUS and HSI plan to work hand in hand with the government of Liberia in the years ahead.
The chimps have sadly been through some very rough times and need time to heal, and constant care due to the years of research and torture they were put through in medical testing for the NY Blood Center.
Ponso is the sole survivor of a colony of 20 chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center in the Ivory Coast. Advocates are working with authorities to move him across the border into Liberia so he is not alone and can receive optimal care.
In August, 2015, HSUS hired Jenny and Jim Desmond, an American couple with experience in great ape rescue, to oversee the care of the chimps. With funds donated to HSUS, the Desmonds were able to not only hire back almost all of the Liberians who lost their jobs when NYBC cut the funding but also make dramatic improvements to the care of the chimps, including daily feedings (instead of every other day); an improved diet that takes their nutritional needs into account; and birth control.
A massive “Thank You” to Their Turn founded by Donny Moss, who staged all of the massive protests outside the NY Blood Center and have given the chimps a voice, HSUS for stepping up to contribute half of the amount needed to match NY Blood Centers contribution to help the abandoned chimps, Dr. Jane Goodall, Actresses Kate & Rooney Mara, who have been huge voices for the chimps from the beginning, Bill Richardson, Dr. Brian Hare and the many activists around the world and on the ground fighting to give the abandoned NY Blood Center Chimps a voice! You have been heard and the chimps have been saved because of you.