Save the Bastrop Chimps
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I am a private citizen and I want to tell you about a dire situation facing the chimpanzees in Bastrop, TX that are owned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These chimps live at a center in Bastrop, which is world renowned and accredited for the level of care they provide. The NIH wants to relocate these chimps from their home in Bastrop to the national sanctuary in Louisiana. The current population of chimpanzees in Bastrop consists mostly of elderly chimps. This trip would put all the chimps at a high risk for stress-induced medical issues but would especially put the geriatric chimps in a compromised position. If the chimps are relocated to Louisiana, there is a high potential for family social groups to be split apart. This would include splitting up mother-daughter, mother-son, sister-sister, and brother-brother pairs that are bonded. Some of the social and family groups have been together for over 20 years. It would not only be cruel to separate these chimps from each other, it would endanger their well-being by adding additional stress that could affect their overall health. In 2014-2015, this exact relocation to Louisiana was done with 13 of the Bastrop chimpanzees and within a year and a half, 9 of those chimps had died. This relocation is dangerous for the chimps and should not be re-attempted. The goal of this petition is to have the NIH retire these chimpanzees in their home with their families in Bastrop.
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