Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Happy Birthday, Harry Hmura!

Monday, July 6th, 2015

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Alison Chapot in honor of Harry Hmura’s birthday! Alison has been a long time supporter and friend of the chimpanzees and in celebrating today she shared, “Harry is a dear friend and advocate for apes around the world.”

Harry Hmura is a musician and volunteers his performances to bring awareness to great apes and the sanctuaries that many of these individuals call home and assist with fundraising. Gaining inspiration from Dr. Jane Goodall and all of the great apes, Harry created a unique project called, I AM, I AM, in which he composed and produced an album using great ape vocalizations. “The entire collection of great ape vocal recordings, beginning in 2007, of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and gibbons including background environment sounds were recorded at sanctuaries or in natural indigenous habitats around the world.”

“I AM, I AM Project’s mission is sharing half the proceeds for much needed funding with sanctuaries around the world. Sanctuaries are amazing places, innocent beautiful lives, the spirit between humans and great apes. They are home to individuals, each unique from the next with different names and faces rescued from laboratory research, the entertainment and pet industry, the bushmeat trade and loss of habitat. They provide life time care, rehabilitation, companionship, shelter, protection, even sometimes reuniting family members, bringing new meaning and desires to life.”

Alison, thank you so very much for thinking of the chimpanzees and giving them a special day as you honor your friend, Harry, and celebrate his life!

Harry, we are so grateful to you for the work you do to advocate for great apes and sanctuaries worldwide. Thank you for sharing your talent and compassion by bringing awareness of these incredibly special beings to so many others and helping to make a real difference in their lives.

Jamie, always living her life to the fullest:

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The gift of Annie

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

For weeks, no, months, I have had the idea to do “A Day in the Life of…” each of the chimpanzees on the blog. Seems simple enough, right? Well, when you consider each individual chimp, their moods and varying preferences for being photographed (let alone being followed around all day by a photographer), not to mention all the things that can occur during a day working in the chimp house, it’s not as simple as I’d envisioned. Case in point: Annie. Attempting to be systematic in my approach, I’ve wanted to start with her. Beautiful, dear, sweet Annie, who doesn’t always prefer to have her photo taken or is often running at mach speed with her best friend, Missy. So my idea keeps getting pushed to the back burner of the blog.

But I’ve found myself thinking of Annie a lot these past days because her son, Virgil, (who resides at Save the Chimps) celebrated his birthday this week. Annie gave birth to her first son, Tobias, when she was just a child herself, probably a mere 9 years old. In the wild, chimpanzees typically have their first child around the age of 14. But being used in the labs as a “breeder” Annie was forced to begin breeding with many males starting at the age of 7. All for the purpose of supplying more chimpanzees for biomedical testing. Over the next decade, Annie gave birth to six more babies – Abby, Petra, Brooke, Virgil, Mariah and Damien. Two of her children, Virgil and Mariah, who both are so fortunate to be living at Save the Chimps in Florida, are her only living offspring. Tobias (Chimp Haven) and Damian (Save the Chimps) were also fortunate to have made it to sanctuary, but have sadly passed away. Petra, we believe, passed away while still at New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), and sadly, we don’t have much information on Abby or Brooke, but believe they have passed away as well.

Annie was never allowed to care for her babies for more than a few days. In each case she was anesthetized and her children were taken from her and moved to the nursery to be raised by humans until they were, themselves, used as lab subjects. Chimpanzees are highly invested in the raising of their children, much like humans, and under natural circumstances chimpanzee mothers will nurse their infants until they are 4-5 years of age. Their bond is incredibly strong and often remains so throughout their lives.

One of the things I love most about looking at photos of the chimpanzees’ children, are seeing their mothers in them. In the gaze of their eyes, their smiles, the way they hold their body, or even certain mannerisms. To see that even though their histories are tragic, their mothers are there with them in some way. I love seeing beautiful Annie in her son Virgil (photo credited to Save the Chimps):

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Annie:

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Annie’s history is devastating. To revisit it, however briefly, takes the breath out of me every time. Annie’s history is not unique to the chimpanzees residing here, nor is it unique to all chimpanzees who have suffered, or suffer still from a life in biomedical research labs, entertainment or the pet industry. But I choose to revisit it today not to feel sorry for her, but to celebrate her. To pay honor the incredible person she is. The internal strength and resilience of spirit that speaks to who she really is. Her ability to find joy in her life each day, to increasingly overcoming the sometimes debilitating anxiety she demonstrated when she first arrived here, and her finding enough comfort in her own skin to enjoy peace and solitude.

Annie’s ability to do these things never excuses what was done to, and stolen from, her. But she is not a victim. She is a strong, intelligent, resilient, sweet, gentle, loving soul. A sweet soul who took another step away from her past this morning and for the first time (with me) flopped on the floor and asked me to tickle her head and ears, laughing all the while. This amazing chimpanzee woman is a gift to us all. It’s a gift for her to be able to share herself with us and for us to be able to witness her healing. But more importantly, it’s a gift for her to live her life in peace, and to be her amazing self, each moment of every day. And none of this would be possible without you.

So in celebration of Annie (as she enjoys a tea party):

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And goodnight from Annie, yawning from her nest at the top of the greenhouse. Out there all on her own, her eyes growing heavy as she looks out over Young’s Hill and the summer breeze occasionally ruffles her hair:

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Learn more about each of the chimpanzees’ history on our Eyes on Apes page and celebrate the amazing and unique individuals they truly are.

Take Action Tuesday: Help Chimpanzees in Liberia

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

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Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest is part of a coalition of organizations working to help 66 chimpanzees who had been left to starve on a small group of islands in Liberia. Many of them were used for decades in biomedical testing by the New York Blood Center (NYBC), who suddenly pulled their financial support for their care this spring.

Some of the chimpanzees were captured from the wild and many were used for hepatitis testing just like the Cle Elum Seven went through. The NYBC financially benefited from the research they conducted using these chimps. After determining that the chimpanzees would no longer be used in research, they released them onto islands near the laboratory where they rely on a water supply maintained by humans and require food to be brought to them.

Our role is to help spread the word about this issue in order to ensure that the NYBC restores funding. Their actions have been unconscionable, and they have not communicated a plan to save these chimpanzees who are dependent upon humans for their survival. One of the few public statements they have made, via PR representative Victoria O’Neill in this New York Times article is, “We never had any obligation for the care of the chimps, contractual or otherwise.”

In addition to the hardheartedness of this statement, it contradicts previously made public statements by NYBC representatives that acknowledged their responsibility to these chimpanzees and their commitment to their lifetime care.

We, along with coalitions members headed by the Humane Society of the United States, are urging the NYBC to reinstate funding immediately and discuss a long-term solution with animal protection groups and chimpanzee experts.

The New York Blood Center is a nonprofit organization, however they are not hurting for funding. Their CEO makes $1.2 million per year, and they have $450 million in assets with a total income of $407 million last year alone.

 

There are three ways that you can help TODAY:

 

1. Sign this petition asking the NYBC to reinstate funding.

 

2. Donate toward the immediate care of the chimpanzees. These emergency funds will be distributed for food, water, and other supplies as well as to those on the ground working to ensure that these chimpanzees receive the care they deserve.

 

3. Spread the word far and wide! Social media is a powerful tool – please share this information with all of your networks.

 

Chimpanzees eating fruit

Photo from May of chimpanzees eating fruit delivered to them by a human caregiver. Photo credit: Agnes Souchal

Fruit on its way to the chimpanzees

Caregivers loading a boat with food to deliver to the chimpanzee islands. Photo credit: Agnes Souchal

 

Today is for Hope, Love, Home and Sanctuary

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

This day of sanctuary was also sponsored by our good friend, Kathleen Corby, in honor of two very special occasions. Today we celebrate both the honorary 42nd birthday of sanctuary royalty, Queen Negra, and the chimpanzees’ 7th year anniversary in sanctuary! Kathleen shared her beautiful and heartfelt sentiments about today’s celebrations:

“I would like to make two donations for the same day. One donation goes to NEGRA on her 42nd BIRTHDAY. Let me state that I do not have a “favorite” chimpanzee. I admire, respect, and care for each individual equally — quirks and all. But there is something about Negra. Negra instantly captured my heart and I never saw it coming. When I see a photo of Negra or read about her on your blog I often find myself with a catch in the back of my throat, a slight pang in my heart, (sometimes a tear in my eye!) and I experience this fuzzy little feeling. Ah Negra!

This year I want to thank Negra for giving me such pleasure and for teaching me that it is okay to take your time as you embark on a new path. She has shown me that trust, in others and in ourselves, should be afforded the time and nurturing it needs to blossom. Trust is very precious and the offering or earning of trust needs to be handled delicately.

Negra also taught me that you can never count an old gal out! This year she rallied with the best of them, finding new comforts in Foxies trolls and now in her “France Dora” doll. Negra has proven her bravery by venturing out onto Young’s Hill to forage, enjoying time alone in the tall grasses while eating and relaxing in the warm sunshine. I feel so very lucky to be able to witness Negra’s progress into her brave new world and I am grateful that at this stage in her life she has CSNW to allow her these experiences and freedoms. Happy birthday dear Negra. May this entire year unfold before you day by day offering new delights with the passing of time. XOXOXO.

My second donation is in CELEBRATION of the 7 years of SANCTUARY for 7 amazing CHIMPANZEES (and all the care givers, past and current, who make sanctuary happen)! Happy Anniversary to all. I look forward to the future plans of CSNW becoming a reality. On this day I celebrate your passion and compassion. Thank you for educating, inspiring, and connecting us all into one community of people who want to improve the quality of life for chimpanzees. CSNW truly is HOPE. LOVE. HOME. SANCTUARY. Much love always, Kathleen Corby.”

Kathleen, you have embraced each of the chimpanzees and welcomed them into your heart in countless ways. Though it may be from afar, your support and engagement in their lives, and in each step they take toward becoming more fully themselves, is inspiring. We are immensely grateful to have you as part of our chimp family and thank you so much for sponsoring such a special day full of celebration!

Happy Birthday, Negra! We love you!!

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And Happy 7th Anniversary Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra! May all your days continue to be filled with love, respect, joy and comfort. And may you live each day knowing you are home. We could not possibly love each of you more.

Annie:

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Burrito:

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Foxie:

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Jamie:

2013 Jamie

Jody:

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Missy:

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Negra building trust and HOOT! tonight

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Today is a big day for me—it is my last day as a staff caregiver at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. I am excited to say that I will be beginning a new position with an animal advocacy group where I can utilize all my skills I’ve learned while developing and working on the Eyes on Apes program and fighting for chimpanzees everywhere. It is not a goodbye for me, though—I will be working from home, which means I will remain very much apart of the lives of the Cle Elum Seven and their human friends, too! Sorry guys, you can’t get rid of me just yet 😉

Though I am not saying goodbye, I have been reflecting a lot lately on my time here at CSNW and the relationships I’ve built with the chimpanzees over the last seven years! I started as a volunteer just a couple months after the chimpanzees arrived and they stole my heart. At the time, I was a graduate student working with signing chimpanzees in Ellensburg (a similar background to many of the CSNW staff) but I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Since chimpanzee caregiving jobs are few and far between, odds were that I would end up doing something completely unrelated. But as I spent more time at CSNW, seeing the chimpanzees change and grow in sanctuary, my career path became solidified. Words can truly never express how amazing it is to witness the incredible transformation and second chance that sanctuary can provide for chimpanzees.

Negra is a perfect example. She was stolen from her mother and captured from Africa as an infant, and then forced into research to be used in invasive vaccination testing for human diseases. She was also used a breeder, and had her three babies taken from her within days of birth. As if that wasn’t already bad enough, Negra was kept in complete isolation for nearly two years.

Negra has no grounds to trust humans. How could she? After everything that they had done to her—no one is surprised that she isn’t quick to trust someone. Negra’s changes in sanctuary have been very gradual, but we have seen a lot of growth. Negra from day one was (understandably) untrusting and preferred solitude. It became clear after a little while that Negra exhibited symptoms of someone with PTSD and depression. But as the years went by, we saw Negra playing—first with her chimpanzee friends, and then with humans! And she slowly became more trusting as well.

I learned very early on that Negra does not like to be touched. It is likely that she had several negative experiences in the lab, literally being poked and prodded, and so even a gentle knuckle rub would make her scream and run away. After some time, though, she would occasionally ask for a knuckle rub by offering her back to her caregivers. I remember the first time I gave Negra a knuckle rub I was almost in tears, just thinking about how long it took her to realize that she was safe here—and I would not hurt her.

Honestly, I’m not sure that she’s completely convinced of that fact. Just due to the sheer horror of her past, she has not fully moved on from those nightmares. Every once-in-a-while, something will startle Negra and the PTSD symptoms come through. As we started working on positive reinforcement training a little over a month ago, Negra was not thrilled with the sound of the clicker. Something about that sound associated with a bad memory for her, and she did not react very well at first. However, we were able to muffle the clicker sound by placing it in our pockets, and that seemed to work just fine. (And now she is fine without the muffle!) The next step was getting her comfortable with the target—the PVC tubes we use also were uncomfortable for her at first. After a few sessions though, she became more used to it, and realized that getting grapes and chow are totally worth touching that stupid stick. 😉

Ultimately, the positive reinforcement training is something that will be really incredible for Negra. We will be able to work up to a point where we can perform stress-free medical checks. And, if we ever needed to anesthetize her for any reason, we will be able to do so without any trauma, because she will have learned that presenting her shoulder for a poke results in a positive experience.

Since trust doesn’t come easy for her, and since she prefers routine over new things, I was worried that as her primary trainer, I would not be Negra’s biggest fan. However, I completely miscalculated how things would go. Instead of causing a strain on our relationship, training has made our friendship so much stronger. She has impressed me so much with her progress in our sessions, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. What I thought would take months, she has accomplished in just a few weeks. Negra not only confidently touches the target wherever I place it, but she also has started opening her mouth (a useful behavior for dental checks) and she is even presenting her shoulder.

Since this video was taken, she has become more reliable with the behaviors and is very comfortable with me touching her shoulder (even with a stick!)

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Now that I’ve exhausted everyone with such a wordy post, here are a bunch of some of my favorite photos of Negra:

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Tonight, we will be celebrating the last seven years of sanctuary at our annual HOOT! gala event in Seattle. We will be sharing stories of the gradual changes and new experiences that sanctuary has given Queen Negra and her chimpanzee family (or should I say the royal subjects under her reign?)

There really is no better send-off for me headed into my new adventure than joining everyone tonight in this celebration of sanctuary. I look forward to seeing you all there!

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Take Action Tuesday: Speak up for Eli chimpanzee

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

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A few weeks ago, we alerted you to a new Comedy Central show called Big Time in Hollywood, FL, with reported footage of a chimpanzee in several scenes. We know now that chimpanzee is Eli, who lives at a training facility called Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife.

One of the actors from the show, Lenny Jacobson, identified Eli in an interview where he talked about the experience filming with a chimpanzee. He mentioned that the trainer on set was missing a finger from a chimpanzee bite—which isn’t shocking given the true nature of chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are very strong, and once they become too hard to manage, trainers will discard them at roadside zoos or pseudo-sanctuaries.

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Eli’s trainer has a history of dumping former nonhuman ape actors at very decrepit facilities, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo. Eli’s trainers also have repeatedly failed to meet minimal animal welfare standards. (www.eyesonapes.org/eli)

There’s still time to act—the episodes with Eli’s scenes have not aired yet. Please send a polite letter to the producers and to Lenny Jacobson letting them know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.

Your letters do work! Another alert we sent out last month regarding a McDonald’s France commercial with Suzy (who lives with the same trainer as Eli) was pulled after they received feedback from Eyes on Apes supporters and other advocacy groups. Great victory! We hope to see Big Time in Hollywood, FL make the same progressive decision.

We’ve set up a sample letter which you can customize as you wish (click here). You may also post on the show’s Facebook page.

Take Action Tuesday! Chimpanzee in new Comedy Central show

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

EOA take action tuesday

Tomorrow night, March 25, Comedy Central is planning to air a new TV show called Big Time in Hollywood, FL. The show’s previews contain footage of a chimpanzee in several scenes.

The show was produced by Ben Stiller, who we hope will respond favorably to your feedback — but please hurry! The show premieres tomorrow and we would like to encourage the production to make sure the chimpanzee scenes are not included in the premiere. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.

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Recently, A&E canceled the show Wild Transport after receiving feedback from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the use of chimpanzees in their show. We urge you to encourage Ben Stiller and Comedy Central to make the same progressive decision for Big Time In Hollywood, FL! Send him a letter (c/o his publicist), and let him know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment. We’ve set up a sample letter below which you can customize as you wish. You may also post on the show’s Facebook page.

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Take Action Thursday: McDonald’s exploits Suzy chimpanzee in new ad

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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A recent advertisement for McDonald’s restaurants in France features Suzy the chimpanzee demonstrating trained behaviors, such as jumping up and down and making “funny” faces. Unfortunately, what Suzy has experienced–and what her future holds–is not funny at all.

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Although chimpanzees may appear to have positive, loving relationships with their trainers, this can be deceiving. Trainers often take babies away from their mothers at a very young age and use abusive, fear-based tactics to get chimpanzees to perform. Undoubtedly this environment causes serious psychological harm.

Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, where Suzy lives, has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards.

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Suzy was the chimpanzee used in a Dodge commercial five years ago, which was altered after the company learned about the issues surrounding chimpanzees in entertainment. They took an innovative approach and using CGI, removed Suzy’s image from the original ad and changed the voiceover to mention the “invisible monkey.” Dodge also issued a mea culpa about the original commercial, explaining what they learned from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups.

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As Suzy gets older, her future remains uncertain. Martin has a reputation for dumping his former non-human ape actors at facilities with deplorable conditions, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo.

Unfortunately, despite reaching out to McDonald’s, we have not received confirmation that they plan to remove or alter the commercial. We need your help to put the pressure on McDonald’s! Please write a polite letter asking them to remove the ad, and pledge to never work with non-human ape actors again. You may direct your letters to Deborah Wahl (Deborah.Wahl@us.mcd.com), a Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s.

You may also leave comments on McDonald’s France’s Facebook page or send a Tweet to @McDonaldsCorp.

Sample Letter to McDonald’s:

Dear Ms. Wahl:

I was disappointed to hear that McDonald’s France used Suzy the chimpanzee in a recent commercial for Spicy Chicken Wraps.

Suzy lives with a trainer who has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards (www.eyesonapes.org/suzy). Suzy’s trainer has dumped former non-human ape actors at deplorable roadside zoos, and as she is getting older, soon she will be too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. They are an endangered species that should be protected, not used for entertainment.

Suzy, and others like her, deserve to be in a sanctuary. Help put an end to the use of chimpanzees in entertainment by removing the commercial and making a promise to never work with non-human ape actors again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]

If you send an e-mail to McDonald’s, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

To get these alerts in your inbox, sign up for the Eyes on Apes Take Action mailing list!

Take Action Tuesday: When “cute” animals reveal an ugly truth

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

If you’re reading this, you probably have a love of animals, so when you see videos and photos of animals that make you laugh or melt your heart, you want to share them. Us too! Unfortunately, there’s often an ugly truth behind “cute” videos and photos.

A prime example is the slow loris videos that have circulated. The slow loris is such an adorable primate, and the videos seem to show these animals in a happy environment. But the ugly truth is that these endangered animals are part of the illegal exotic pet trade and the behaviors that may look cute to us are actually signs of fear and stress.

A new example is the Android commercial called “Friends Furever” promoting unlikely animal friendships. Upon first glance, the video clips seem like a heartwarming example of friendship breaking the species barrier, and your first instinct might be to share the commercial with other animal lovers. The ugly reality is that exotic animals such as the orangutan and the elephant seen in the commercial are trained at a very young age (when they should be with their mothers) to pose for photos with humans, and they are forced into relationships with other species for the sole purpose of creating and circulating “cute” photos and videos. The orangutan, Suryia, and the elephant, Bubbles, both live at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.

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Myrtle Beach Safari, operated by Bhagavan (Doc) Antle, has a history of repeated animal welfare violations. Masked behind what they claim is a sanctuary preserve, the facility regularly exploits their wild animals for a variety of media productions and endangers the public by offering “hands-on” experiences and traveling shows. Apes are wild animals, and without proper enclosures and respect for their true nature, many have attacked and brutally mauled humans.

Just last summer, two young chimpanzees were taken to a movie theater to garner attention for the Safari. Recently, these same chimpanzees, Vali and Sugriva, were seen on an episode of A&E’s Wild Transport, where they were taken to a crowded restaurant—creating yet another public safety risk just for a glorified publicity stunt.

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In that episode, Vali and Sugriva were being transported to a facility in Miami called Jungle Island, where they have special “hands-on” encounters with guests, sometimes celebrities, which gains even more attention for the Safari.

After speaking with Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the issues surrounding Vali and Sugriva’s appearance in the show, the A&E Network decided to cancel the series—setting a precedent for other companies to follow.

Unfortunately, actress Hayden Panettiere very recently posted a photo to her Twitter account of her holding the chimpanzee Vali at Jungle Island.

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Images like this with humans in contact with chimpanzees perpetuate the misunderstanding about chimpanzees’ true nature and encourage the exotic pet industry.

Vali, Sugriva, Suryia, and dozens of other exotic animals under Antle’s care are living at a romanticized roadside zoo. These animals deserve better—they deserve a true sanctuary home where they can live out their lives without being shuffled from one exhibition to another.

Companies such as Pfizer have responded favorably when they learned the truth about Myrtle Beach Safari. We’d like to call upon Android to make the same compassionate decision.

We urge you to write to Android and Hayden Panettiere and ask that they remove any material that misinforms the public and promotes the Safari.

You can leave comments on Android’s Facebook page or the post of the Friends Furever video, reply to their tweet on Twitter about the commercial, and reply to Panettiere’s photo on Twitter as well. You can also email Panettiere, c/o her publicist, at carrie.gordon@42west.net . We’ve provided examples of what to write below.

In the big picture, when you see “cute” photos and videos of animals, ask yourself where these animals came from, where they are living now, what their future is likely to be like, and if the behaviors you see are the choice of the animal. You might be able to search and find the answers to these questions, or you might be left with more questions. When in doubt, don’t hit that share or forward button, because you might just be perpetuating exploitative, dangerous, or illegal activity.

Sample Facebook comment to Android:

I was disappointed to see that your new “Friends Furever” commercial promotes pseudo-sanctuaries such as Myrtle Beach Safari, where “unlikely animal friendships” like Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the dog are forced after exotic animals are taken from their mothers at a very young age. In the wild, baby orangutans stay with their mothers until they are eight years old, so you can imagine how important that bond is for them. Not only does the Safari mislead the public into believing that these are “cute” relationships, but they also regularly put people at risk with public exhibitions of wild animals and exploit the animals for entertainment—things a reputable sanctuary would never do. This glorified roadside zoo has also had numerous animal welfare violations (EyesOnApes.org/suryia).

You’re not the first to be duped by this pseudo-sanctuary. Pfizer chose to alter a Robitussin commercial that was originally aired using Suryia, replacing the live animal scenes with realistic, high-tech computer generated images after they learned the truth behind the Safari. I urge you to make the same decision involving the clips of the exotic animals in your commercial. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sample Tweet to Android:

@Android please change #AndroidBFFs ad to exclude clips of animals in roadside zoos. Robitussin did it before! See more at EyesOnApes.org/suryia

@Android “cute” #AndroidBFFs animals reveal an ugly truth. Don’t glorify roadside zoos! See more at EyesOnApes.org/suryia

*Sample email to Hayden Panettiere:

Dear Ms. Panettiere,

I know that you are an animal lover and have spoken out about the dolphin slaughter in Japan. I applaud you for your passion! Because of your obvious concern for animals, I was shocked and disappointed to see a photo of you and a baby chimpanzee named Vali circulating social media. You should know that when people see you holding a baby chimpanzee it perpetuates the cruel pet and entertainment industries. Baby chimpanzees belong with their mothers, and they shouldn’t be shuffled around to exhibitions or hands-on encounters. Vali was reportedly purchased from an animal breeder, and he belongs in a true sanctuary where the focus would be on his needs, not the desire of the public to have photo-ops with him. I urge you to please remove the photo from your social media and pledge to never participate in hands-on experiences with captive wild animals again.

Sample Tweets to Hayden Panettiere:

@haydenpanettier please remove the photo of you and Vali the chimp. He deserves better! Learn more EyesOnApes.org/vali

@haydenpanettier love chimpanzees like you love dolphins – don’t participate in their exploitation! EyesOnApes.org/vali

RT! Tell @haydenpanettier to remove photo of her w/ chimp – they’re wild animals & shouldn’t be used for publicity. EyesOnApes.org/vali

Lastly, please share this alert with friends and family. Change can only happen with more awareness! Thank you for speaking up for apes in need.

*If you email Hayden, please remember to BCC EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!!

What Hurts the Most

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

I was going to just post three photos of three amazing chimpanzees today (see photos below) with short captions, but I have been thinking about this CNN article all day. When I was looking at the photos, I thought even more about it.

The article, titled, “Chimps still stuck in research labs despite promise of retirement” is about the pronouncement the NIH made in June 2013 that they were going to retire all but 50 of the chimpanzees they owned to sanctuary. So far? Six have been retired and, according to the article, 24 have died.

It’s that last fact that really gets to me. Twenty four chimpanzees, who (unbeknownst to them) were potentially granted freedom from biomedical testing, died before they could experience a sanctuary life.

As things are right now, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest could not take in retired NIH chimpanzees – Chimp Haven, a wonderful sanctuary in Louisiana, is the only sanctuary that has a contract with the government to retire NIH owned chimpanzees and therefore also the only sanctuary that receives federal funding.

But we know there are also over 400 chimpanzees who are privately “funded” by biomedical research institutions. They too deserve to know a life in a TRUE sanctuary, and they too are dying before they have that opportunity.

The NIH announcement a year and a half ago seemed to signal the beginning of the end of the use of chimpanzees in biomedical testing in the United States, but this means nothing to those individual chimpanzees who will spend the next however many days, months, or years waiting, only to die in a laboratory – never knowing there was an alternative life waiting for them.

I’m not going to pretend that I have the immediate solution to this problem. I know that many people are working on it, and it’s going to require a lot of trust, cooperation, and, especially, money. But, when I look into the eyes of the chimpanzees at CSNW who have known six and half years of a quality sanctuary life, it hurts to think of the chimpanzees out there waiting for the same chance.

We must maintain hope, however. And CSNW must work towards a future that includes retiring more chimpanzees at our sanctuary, whether from biomedical research or the pet and entertainment industries.

Their only hope lies with all of us.

 

Foxie

Foxie arm on shoulder

 

Jamie

Jamie hugging boot

 

Negra

Negra looking out window

 

This photo of Negra was in our last e-news communication about Share the Chimp Love)

Negra close-up