Save Chimpanzees & Keep Chimp Families Together!
Save Chimpanzees & Keep Chimp Families Together!
To: Mr. Charlton H. Bonham, Director of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Services, Mr. Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr. Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, the California State House of Representatives, and Ms. Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife
We, the people of California, and all animal lovers across the world ask that you please keep the chimpanzees together with their families at the Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles, California. A sanctuary, Chimp Village is under development, which will accept the all of the chimpanzees stranded at the Wildlife Waystation, founded by Martine Colette in 1966. It was the very first sanctuary of its kind – dedicated to saving animals, especially apes from labs and other abusive conditions, but it was shut down in 2019, under questionable circumstances. Since then, 32 chimpanzees have been stranded in the Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest. Now, the California Fish and Wildlife wants to relocate the chimps, so on Thursday June 24th, 2021, they plan to separate and relocate 7 of these chimps. Mr. Bonham, Mr. Garcetti, Mr. Newsom and Ms. Skipwith, would you want to be separated from your family? There have already been too many unscrupulous acts committed against chimpanzees, and the leaders of the great state of California have a historic opportunity to right some wrongs.
Like any family, we must keep these chimpanzees together! Dr. Jane Goodall and other experts agree that chimpanzees are our closest living relative – we are 98.9% alike! “Chimpanzee are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom...there are many alternatives to testing on chimpanzees,” explains Jack Whitescarver. They have only one major difference, “We have language and they do not. Chimps communicate by embracing, patting and looking at each other.” They make sounds and communicate, but they cannot sit and have a discussion, like humans do, adds Goodall. For these reasons, apes undergo unusually high stress and anxiety when they are separated from one another. We implore you Mr. Bonham, Mr. Garcetti, Mr. Newsom and Ms. Skipwith, to intervene because nobody wants to be separated from their family – especially chimpanzees, who are all but 1% genetically different than us. California has the chance to do what is right – keep chimps together at the Wildlife Waystation - and show mercy for our relatives in the chimpanzee family.
Even though humans and chimps are closely related, and there are laws are in place, chimpanzees are still abused. To explain, in 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that chimpanzee research was no longer needed, so the United States retired laboratory apes to sanctuaries. So why do apes continue to be mistreated, or worse yet, killed? For instance, in 2019, 27 monkeys were killed on a single day, in a NASA research center - after the NIH’s ban on primate use in labs. Evidently, NASA never stopped testing and simply killed these chimps instead of admitting their mistakes and rehoming them. Making matters worse, when sanctuaries have tried to help, they fall under continual scrutiny. These issues, described as “a war on chimpanzee sanctuaries nationwide" were predicted by Cindy Buckmaster, the chair of the board of directors of Americans for Medical Progress. She and others in the biomedical community said chimpanzees would continue to be mistreated, “I think sanctuaries are going to be questioned very seriously going forward.” As it turns out Buckmaster was right, sanctuaries are being harassed, taxed, audited and closed down, when they already lack the resources, support and facilities to care for the high numbers of animals being rescued.
For these reasons and more, scientists, investors, and animal lovers have become deeply concerned over the mistreatment of the apes and the impending separation from their family members at the Wildlife Waystation. Prominent investors ranging in backgrounds from retail, private and nonprofits have come together to propose Chimp Village, a wildlife center for the rescue and preservation of apes. At Chimp Village, humankind's closest living ancestors, such as Sha-Sha, a chimpanzee, who loves to paint, can live out their lives in peace. The general public will also have a place to learn more about our ancestors, the chimpanzee. We ask that everyone who fights against oppression and believes in humanity to sign this petition - no matter what part of the globe you live on. We ask for your support to stop this crime against humanity and to give Chimp Village a chance to make a home for the chimpanzee families from the Wildlife Waystation. Just like people thrive when we work together and stay connected with our families and loved ones - chimps need to stay together, too.