The King 5 coverage last night mentioned the chimpanzees who are still in laboratories. Chimpanzees whose lives, like the Cle Elum Seven, could also remarkably improve if H.R. 1326, the Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA), is passed.
Sometimes it seems the barriers to this actually happening are insurmountable – the opposition to the bill by some in the biomedical research community; the funds that would be needed to create space and quality care for the chimpanzees in sanctuaries; and the inherent politics of getting a bill passed that have nothing to do with those 600 chimpanzee lives (and the other 500 who are privately owned and would no longer be tested on).
But then I think about other countries that have passed similar legislation, the bipartisan support that the bill has within the house, and the tremendous determination of those working on the legislation.
And I think about those 1100 chimpanzees. Many of them have very similar experiences as the Cle Elum Seven. Like Negra, Annie and Jody, many were taken from their native home of Africa as infants and may have never experienced what it feels like to be comfortable and safe. Some, like Foxie and Missy, were likely born into captivity for the purpose of being biomedical test subjects and, like Foxie, may never be able to learn natural chimpanzee behaviors like nest-building. Others, like Jamie and Burrito, were former “pets” or “entertainers,” possibly raised as substitute human children, abused by their trainers, then sold into biomedical research.
Those mostly unknown 1100 chimpanzees deserve sanctuary life as much as the seven chimpanzees in our care. Their intelligence and individual personalities should be shared and appreciated. Whatever happens, they will always live in captivity, but they should have a second chance for a better life.
Look at Negra in the photos below – the first taken before her new life began, during her dark years of living in a basement with little mental stimulation, the second taken just days ago as she peacefully napped outside. And re-watch this video of Negra playing with Missy: https://chimpsnw.org/2009/11/negra-5/
Then check out the links below the photos about GAPA to learn how you can help create a better life for all of the Negras still in laboratories.
Learn more about the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) and how you can help from these groups: