The news about the day in court for two chimpanzees (see Animals in Court) coincides with the story of 66 chimpanzees being abandoned in Liberia. These chimpanzees had been used by an American company but have been left behind to fend for themselves.
“This year, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) abandoned more than sixty chimpanzees that it had used in research and testing for decades. These animals, located in Liberia — a country on the west coast of Africa — are now in danger of dehydration or starvation and need our help.
In the 1970’s, NYBC worked with the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research to create Vilab II — a laboratory that obtained and bred chimpanzees for use in research and testing. Once NYBC decided that the chimpanzees were no longer needed for research, it was determined that they would be permanently retired on islands near the lab in Monrovia, Liberia. The chimps still live there today and are completely reliant on humans for their survival, as there is no natural fresh water supply throughout the year, nor enough food.
As The New York Times recently reported, NYBC withdrew all funding and oversight for these chimpanzees in early March, despite previously committing to a lifetime of care.Since then, the situation has quickly deteriorated. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International have given emergency funding to help provide food and water for the chimpanzees and several dedicated individuals on the ground are doing what they can to help these chimpanzees survive.”
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