I’m pretty excited to announce that we’re going to be featuring some guest bloggers who work with apes in the wild! Our mission at the sanctuary is to provide quality lifetime care for the Cle Elum Seven, but also to advocate for apes everywhere. If you’re signed up for our Take Action list, you’ve probably received some action alerts from Eyes on Apes before. These are usually for issues that our nonhuman ape cousins face close to home, like the entertainment, pet, and biomedical industries.
Free-living apes are facing a whole different set of issues. In Africa their habitat is slowly being torn down, and the logging roads create access for hunters to easily hunt chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and a whole slew of other exotic animals and sell their meat on the black market (it’s called the bushmeat trade). In Southeast Asia, orangutans are losing much of their habitat to palm oil plantations and other agricultural development.
From afar, there’s only so much detail we can provide—but those who are right there witnessing these issues can paint a very different picture. Our goal is to have them tell their stories, and help us to help our closest living relatives who are literally facing extinction.
We already have folks lined up for this exciting project: Dr. Cleve Hicks (former graduate student at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute just down the road) who is now working with apes in the Bili Forest in central Africa; Dr. Debra Durham who is currently in east Africa and has expertise in both captive and free-living issues (you might remember this article about PTSD in ex-biomedical lab chimps, including Negra); and Dr. Zarin Machanda who met JB and Diana at the Fauna Foundation years ago, and has worked with chimpanzees in east Africa. Stay tuned for these stories with great information coming very soon!
Here’s a photo of Negra, who now gets to have sunshine, friends, and choices after being stolen from Africa and used in biomedical research for decades. Let’s raise awareness about others like Negra still in labs, and for her relatives in Africa that need our help. Share this video and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, so you’ll be sure to get notified of the upcoming guest blogger posts!
Guest blog posts:
Why are orangutans endangered in the wild? by Rich Zimmerman