Little Cage to Big World

May 15th, 2017 by Elizabeth

It’s amazing how much someone’s world can grow in a few years.

9 Responses to “Little Cage to Big World”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Wow. Pains me to envision them in such cold, cramped conditions. Especially Missy. I know you have mentioned this before but why is Missy’s cage smaller?! Makes your new Bring Them Home Campaign all the more urgent. Let’s all embrace wide open spaces!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Kathleen. I’m not sure, but I assume these were just the transfer cages the lab had available when it came time to move the chimps, and perhaps Missy was put in the smaller one because of her smaller size. In the basement at Buckshire, where the chimps lived prior to moving here, they shared a space that was the size of about ten of these cages put together. Many less fortunate lab chimpanzees are housed singly in cages not much larger than these; the minimum cage size as required by the Animal Welfare Act is 5′ x 5′ x 7′.

  2. karen and Don says:

    This visual is so powerful that it takes my breath away! No words can communicate this visual accurately. I am going to print it out and frame it. I am so happy for the Cle Elum Seven.

  3. Donna Oleksiuk says:

    This is a very powerful post. The sight of those cages is almost too much to bear. The thought of these dear beings living like that causes me deep pain. Thank you thank you thank you for providing them with a release from that hell and the chance to spend the latter part of their lives in a healthy, loving, nurturing environment. <3<3<3

  4. DIANE KASTEL says:

    I do not know and, would appreciate knowing, how the biomedical research lab came to release these 7 precious chimps?

    • Carla René says:

      Okay, I’m summarising here, but in 1976, the US Fish and Wildlife Service created a law–the ESA (Endangered Species Act)–that said chimpanzees would now be declared endangered.

      Then in 1990, the same Service split-listed this law. In doing so, they declared (I’ve read the laws) that ONLY chimpanzees *not* used in this research and testing could be declared as endangered and afforded the protections that goes along with this status. Captive chimpanzees, however, were only declared as “threatened”, but in the weirdly-worded law, were even stripped of whatever protections THAT status would have afforded, which meant they were continued to be exploited by the movie & TV industries (used as models and in commercials), circuses, and of course, biomedical research. It was a nice, tidy way for the government to continue their heinous practices that, with growingly-more accurate technology, became less and less relevant with each passing day.

      In the 1990s, amidst concerns for dwindling wild populations of chimpanzees–the primary animals used for these tests–many organisations, such as the Jane Goodall Institute, HSUS, and the AZA, pummeled the government with petitions, demonstrations, and papers presenting scientific evidence to prove that biomedical testing was no longer viable; they voiced their concerns, asking that this decision be overturned. One of the biggest reasons for this was that evidence exists to prove that as long as people continue to exploit them, the general public doesn’t really see the danger they’re in. (Many of my friends still don’t see the harm in buying a cute birthday card with a “smiling” chimp.) As one of many blogs on the subject put it, “After all, animals dressed in tutus couldn’t actually be under threat of extinction, right?”

      An official review of the matter was warranted in 2011 after the above evidence was presented, and in 2013, the FWS announced the proposal to amend the legislation.

      THANK GOD ABOVE, President Obama saw the need for such relegislation, and on June 12, 2015, the proposal was finalised and he declared that ALL chimpanzees–including those in biomedical research–be given back their endangered species status and thus, all research would end. This affected over 1,800 chimpanzees across the US, and declared that all such split-listing was actually in violation of federal law.

      The wheels of justice in this country move too slowly, but eventually get there. Sadly, there are STILL chimps living in defunct laboratories, waiting for the day when sanctuaries such as CSNW can have enough funds to expand and “bring them all home.” 🙂 <3

      • Francoise says:

        Well summarized Carla. There are still about 1000 chimps in labs awaiting rescue. But, if I’m correct, we can’t forget that some labs have been allowed to retain a number of chimpanzees on the (legal) basis that they may “need” them in the future, in addition to the chimps that are indeed awaiting sanctuary. It’s also important to note that a good number of them are elderly, which is 25 years old for males, 30 for females. There is also still the issue of privately held and entertainment chimps still out there.

        For those interested in chimps awaiting for rescue, see

        Sadly, the battle is not over.

  5. Arlene and Michael says:

    It is so sad to think of them in the conditions they had to endure for so long before CSNW gave them a loving home. How uplifting that more labs chimps will be able to get a chance at life outside their cages as well. THANK YOU

  6. Elaine Reininger says:

    Words seem so inadequate when trying to describe the conditions and confinement all laboratory chimps lived through — this photo makes it all quite clear. Just one picture to show the before and another picture to show the after. What an enlightening post.