Archive for the ‘202 chimpanzees’ Category

Happy Anniversary, Chris and Victoria!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Chris and Victoria Jensen as their anniversary gift to one another! Chris shared this message about today:

“My lovely wife Victoria and I have always loved animals. We currently have 2 Dachshunds, Sally and a rescue named Stitch. We decided to stop getting each other presents, and give to the causes we believe in. We really appreciate the work you do, giving the chimps back their lives must be very rewarding. The animals of the world need our help, we can’t help them all so we do what we can.”

Chris and Victoria, thank you so much for celebrating your special day by making a difference in the chimps’ lives! What an inspiring way to honor your lives together. Thank you for all you do for our fellow animals and we are so happy to celebrate with you! Happy Anniversary from all of us at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW and we hope you, Sally and Stitch have a day filled with the love of family, comfort and home that you help provide the chimps with!

Best friends, Annie and Missy:

Missy and Annie with prickly lettuce

missy annie wrestle on beam

web Annie Missy wrestle play playface YH  IMG_4435

Missy chase Annie

Annie groom Missy in greenhouse

Levi’s birthday

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

We love to throw parties for the chimps’ birthdays at the sanctuary. After over five years at CSNW, we’ve really seen how the chimps are “aging backwards” with each passing birthday—which is just all the more reason to celebrate! For five out of the seven, we celebrate an honorary birthday because we don’t know their actual birth dates, either because they were captured in the wild, or because their records are so scarce.

We commemorate Jody’s honorary birthday every year on Mother’s Day because she had nine babies in the lab in nearly as many years, more than any of the other females at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

One of Jody’s children, Levi, was born this day 30 years ago. He is now the same age as Burrito.

I’d love to say that we will be celebrating today in his honor, but Levi is not in a sanctuary. He is still living in a laboratory. Levi was one of the small group transferred from Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico, to Texas Biomed in San Antonio a few years ago.

This was the only note written in Jody’s record, on his day of birth “11/23/83 — Delivered healthy infant male #88… removed and taken to nursery (Levi).”

Levi didn’t have the opportunity to grow up with his mother, and there is more and more evidence that points to how important it is for chimpanzees to be with their mothers. A recent study looked at a group of free-living male chimpanzees who were separated from their mothers, and 87% of the sample group died earlier than the expected lifespan.

Levi is still alive, but it’s unlikely that his birthday will be any different than any of the last 29 birthdays that he has lived in laboratories.

Levi and the approximately 866 other chimpanzees still in research in this country deserve to be in sanctuary.

As many of you know, the NIH announced that they are planning to retire about 300 of their chimpanzees. Just this week congress passed an amendment to the Chimp Act which increases the spending cap on federal sanctuary support, and it’s currently on the President’s desk waiting to be signed. This is a good step in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

Be sure to subscribe to the Eyes on Apes Take Action Alerts to be notified when we need to voice our support for the release of chimpanzees still imprisoned in laboratories.



Jody in the lab:

eb crop jody hand out buckshire cage IMG_0816

Jody in sanctuary:

web Jody best new blankets nest playroom IMG_2376

web Jody droopy lip grass yh IMG_8648

web Jody hold onions Annie's birthday Young's Hill YH IMG_7283

web Jody eat flower green grass YH IMG_3414

web ed Jody eat nut food first day exploring youngs hill IMG_0181

News from the NIH Working Group on Chimpanzees

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

There was an important meeting today in DC, reporting the recommendations of a working group that has been looking very carefully at the federal funding of chimpanzees in research (you can read more about the working group here). Although the recommendations will still be reviewed by the NIH and undergo a public comment period prior to becoming “official,” it’s an exciting change on the horizon for our chimpanzee friends, including Jody’s son Levi.

The recommendations reflect the writing on the wall  – that the US is heading in the same direction that the rest of the world has already gone – toward phasing out the use of chimpanzees in research. While not an outright ban, the recommendations call for a significant number of the chimpanzees owned and supported by the government to be permanently retired. Any research that would be allowed under the recommendations released today would have to occur in vastly different environments than those in which chimpanzees are currently kept. Here are a few main points:

  • Most current biomedical use of chimpanzees should end. Some behavioral and genomic research might be able to continue (pending meeting other new requirements below).
  • The chimpanzees not needed for federal research should be retired to appropriate sanctuaries through the Federal Sanctuary System, and the federal government has an obligation to pay for this retirement.
  • The Working Group carefully and closely defined “ethologically appropriate” conditions, under which all federally owned and supported chimpanzees must be kept. These include physical and social requirements such as group makeup and enclosure size. No current laboratory environment meets these requirements.
  • There is no need for a large reserve colony of chimpanzees to be maintained for “unknown unknowns” – meaning some unexpected virus or emergent disease that we don’t know about yet. They did discuss the need for a small (50 chimpanzees) reserve colony to be housed in one facility and meeting the ethologically appropriate requirements.
  • An independent oversight committee should have final review and approval authority on any chimpanzee research proposals that make it through the NIH funding process. This committee would ensure that any projects being funded meet all of the criteria set forth.

You can read the full report here. Again, it’s not an outright ban. But no one expected that. It is overall a very good set of recommendations that sets very high standards for taking care of chimpanzees, and it signals an impending end to their use and exploitation.  I have to admit that my eyes welled up a little while listening to the meeting, thinking about the potential to help so many more chimpanzees. So much has changed, for the better, since I first started taking care of chimpanzees (over 15 years ago!). I see a day when we’re done with all this stuff, and I never dreamed of that 15 years ago.

It’ll probably be April before the NIH makes a final decision on these recommendations, and we’ll be sure to share links for public comment so that you can lend your voice on behalf of the Cle Elum Seven, their friends and relatives, and chimpanzees across the country.


Celebrating another day on the hill

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

There’s so much to celebrate this week, from Save the Chimps final migration to the NIH’s dramatic announcement about the role of chimpanzees in biomedical research.

Here at the sanctuary, the chimps celebrated another sunny winter day by running around their 2-acre enclosure.

Reprieve for Alamogordo Chimpanzees

Friday, December 31st, 2010

My family lives in New Mexico and my very sharp and active 89-year-old grandmother, who is a supporter of the Cle Elum Seven, sent me word of this great news this morning.

(for background information about the Alamogordo chimpanzees, visit:

Here’s the beginning of a story that the Albuquerque Journal published today:

Chimps To Stay in N.M. for a While

By Rene Romo
Copyright © 2010 Albuquerque Journal
Journal Southern Bureau

LAS CRUCES — The nearly 200 chimps housed at a federal facility in Alamogordo have won a temporary reprieve from being transferred to another site, where they were to become test subjects, according to the Governor’s Office.
In a phone call received late Thursday afternoon, an official with the National Institutes of Health informed Gov. Bill Richardson that the chimps will not be transferred until the National Academy of Sciences completes a review of policies related to the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, according to a governor’s spokeswoman.
The review is expected to postpone the chimp transfer for about two years, said Richardson spokesman Alarie Ray-Garcia.
“Until the study is completed, there will be no transfer of the chimps,” Ray-Garcia said.

Read more:

This means that Negra’s daughter Heidi, Foxie’s son David and Jody’s daughter April will not be put back into research, at least for the time being. And it means that we still have time to let our voices be heard so that they and all of the chimpanzees can be retired permanently.

Negra’s daughter Heidi

Friday, November 19th, 2010

New England Anti-Vivisection Society’s Project R&R has obtained a few photos through their Freedom of Information Act request.

Below is a photo of Heidi, Negra’s daughter, who is still at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (see post from earlier today)


Alamogordo Chimps Update

Friday, November 19th, 2010

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a hero for chimpanzees. Two days ago he filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the transfer of the remaining 186 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF). Since then he has been busy with press conferences and interviews with the media about this complaint, which is supported by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and Animal Protection of New Mexico.

The complaint asks the USDA to investigate whether transferring the chimpanzees from APF to a biomedical research laboratory in Texas violates the Animal Welfare Act, which prohibits the transportation of ill, injured or physically distressed primates. Many of the chimpanzees, such as Flo (53 years old), are elderly and suffer from chronic diseases as a result of their age and their history as biomedical research subjects.

Thanks to Freedom of Information requests from PCRM, we now know that Foxie’s mother, Winny, is among the chimpanzees living at APF who faces transfer to Texas. Winny’s birthdate is listed as 1/1/1962. She is almost 49 years old.

Foxie’s son David, Negra’s daughter, Heidi, and Jody’s daughter April also face transfer. Jody’s son Levi has already been moved.

(For the complaint that PCRM filed in September that includes information on the chimpanzees at APF, click here).

For how to help, visit

202 Chimpanzees update

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Watch this recent interview with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who just might be my new favorite person:

If you’re in New Mexico, watch KNME at 7:00pm tonight for “New Mexico in Focus.” For those not in New Mexico, the show will be made available online after the weekend.

The KNME show will include a panel discussion about the Alamogordo Primate Facility chimpanzees who are slated to move to a laboratory in San Antonio, Texas. The panel includes State Representative Nate Cote, University of New Mexico Professor Dr. John Gluck, and Animal Protection of New Mexico’s Laura Bonar.

Included in the group of 202 chimpanzees in Alamogordo are Jody, Foxie and Negra’s children. Jody’s son Levi has already been transferred to Texas.

Much of this information comes from the latest update from Animal Protection of New Mexico.  Read the entire update here: We are so grateful to APNM for continuing to work on helping these chimpanzees and for keeping us all informed and letting us know how we can help.

Gene Hackman helping the Alamogordo Chimpanzees

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

So far the NIH has not budged on their plans to transfer 202 chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.

The chimpanzees have gotten some celebrity support recently, though – Gene Hackman wrote a letter to the head of NIH asking to halt this transfer.  Check out this excerpt from his letter (it gave me chills in a good way):

“As you know, efforts to save the Alamogordo chimpanzee have drawn support from Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Tom Udall, and many other people around the state and across the country. I join them in urging you to fulfill the National Institutes of Health’s goal to ‘exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science’ by allowing these chimpanzees to live out their lives in the safety of a sanctuary.”

Read the full letter here:

If you haven’t already, please contact the government about this issue. Your tax money is funding the laboratory housing and future experimentation on these chimpanzees.

Find out more ways you can help by following this blog for updates, as well as:

Project R&R

Animal Protection of New Mexico

Humane Society of the United States

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Alamogordo update – sad news

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories (Project R&R)  has learned that Levi, Jody’s son, is among the group of chimpanzees who have already been moved from the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.

Project R&R is encouraging supporters to contact Dr. Barbara Alving, the Director of the National Center for Research Resources. Please see the Project R&R alert and contact Dr. Alving today to ask her to halt the transfer of any more chimpanzees and allow all 202 chimpanzees from APF to be permanently retired.

Jody had at least nine babies taken from her during her years as a breeder and biomedical test subject. For the first time in her life she is able to soak up the sun, make huge nests and live each day without pain and fear. Her son Levi and her daughter April, who is still at APF, deserve the same.