Keep the chimpanzees home in Bend, Oregon.
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We recently learned that Chimps Incorporated, a non-profit chimpanzee sanctuary near Bend, OR, is planning the relocation of their 7 chimpanzee residents.
This relocation is unnecessary and could have adverse effects on the health and welfare of these sentient beings. The uprooting and separation of this long-term established chimpanzee family would not be in their best interest.
Chimps Inc. was originally founded in 1995, by Lesley Day, to provide lifetime refuge and sanctuary to chimpanzees rescued from the pet and entertainment industry. The Bend facility was designed to accommodate the complex social dynamics that are unique and specific to the chimpanzees currently residing in its' care. The infrastructure of the sanctuary includes state of the art enclosures with built in enrichment and aerial tunnel systems to replicate their most natural movement between habitats. Included, are three outdoor habitats, up to an acre in size each. The chimps can seek shelter from Oregon climate by having free-choice access into two indoor habitats, which are heated at all times. The facility was specifically designed to house two social groups at all times, a crucial component to their wellbeing and social needs. Another key component is the quarantined areas within the animal habits, which are essential for newly rescued chimpanzees. The sanctuary has successfully integrated all of its' chimps into cohesive social groups, which required years of work put forth by staff, volunteers, and primate experts form all over the world.
The elder most chimpanzee to currently reside at Chimps Inc. is Topo who is estimated to be in his late 50’s. He was the first rescue by Lesley Day, where he was discovered in upstate New York, living in a trailer among several other caged chimpanzees. He is now the alpha male to a group of 7 chimpanzees, the youngest of which are Emma and Jackson, ages 17 and 18.
Currently, there are only seven primate sanctuaries in the United States, which adhere to advanced protocols that strongly promote chimpanzee welfare in captive, sanctuary environments. Due to the dire need for primate sanctuaries in the U.S., it would be very difficult for another sanctuary to take Topo's family in its entirety. To separate a well established chimpanzee family, of which took over twenty-five years to form, would be detrimental to each of the chimps. This unnecessary transfer; would also burden the sanctuary community; taking away space from chimpanzees currently awaiting refuge- from laboratories, the entertainment industry and those surrendered from the pet trade.
A solution to the relocation of these chimpanzees has been provided by Freedom for Great Apes (FGA), a newly formed 501c3 nonprofit organization, established specifically to take on the care and custody of these chimpanzees. Their mission is to provide a safe haven dedicated to the physical, behavioral, and psychological well-being of great apes in captivity. FGA consists of a team of talented professionals that are well-versed in all aspects of caring for captive chimpanzees. This transition would bring a fresh change to the management of the sanctuary. It would carry on the promise made long ago to Topo and his family by allowing them to remain at their lifetime home in Bend, Oregon.
Please sign this petition to show your support in helping us keep this chimpanzee family together, at their home of over 20 years, in Bend, Oregon. We need your support to encourage Chimps Inc. to transition the responsibility for their care to Freedom for Great Apes.
If you would like more information about FGA, please contact president and co founder, Sally Pfeifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Helmer-Dias and Andrea Menashe
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