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Emergency Crew Aids Sole Survivor of Chimp Colony in Ivory Coast Abandoned by NY Blood Center

September 4, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

In mid-August, several months after news broke that the NY Blood Center (NYBC) abandoned 66 of its former lab chimpanzees on islands in Liberia, a primate rescue group called ATO based in West Africa alerted great ape advocates worldwide to the existence of yet another colony of chimps abandoned by NYBC.

Ponso is the sole survivor of a colony of 20 chimps abandoned by NYBC in the Ivory Coast

Ponso is the sole survivor of a colony of 20 chimps abandoned by NYBC in the Ivory Coast

According to Betsy Brotman, the director of NYBC’s lab in Liberia and a vocal critic of group’s decision to abandon its chimpanzees, NYBC relocated 20 chimps to an island in the Ivory Coast in 1983, when they were no longer needed for research. When the local Ivorian hired by NYBC to deliver food to the chimps failed to perform his job, NYBC was, due to political unrest, unable to retrieve the chimps to bring them elsewhere.

NYBC abandoned 20 chimps and their offspring on what locals call the "Island of Chimpanzees" in the Ivory Coast.

NYBC abandoned 20 chimps and their offspring on what locals call the “Island of Chimpanzees” in the Ivory Coast.

According to a report compiled by the World Conservation Union, eight chimpanzees died or disappeared during their first three weeks on the island, and three more died during the following months. One year after their arrival, only nine chimps remained.

A local farmer and his son Germain learned about the plight of the abandoned chimps and brought them bread and bananas, a substandard diet that could not sustain many of the chimps who were already physically compromised by the NYBC experiments.

Ponso, the sole survivor of a colony of 20 chimps abandoned by NYBC, greets Ponso SOS, a relief organization created to bring him food.

Ponso, the sole survivor of a colony of 20 chimps abandoned by NYBC, greets Ponso SOS, a relief organization created to bring him food.

By December, 2013, only four chimps remained – a male, a female and their two babies. In a two day period that month, all but the male, Ponso, perished. Germain, the local farmer, said that Ponso helped him bury the dead by tossing dirt over the graves of his family.

When word spread in August 2015 about Ponso’s plight, the Facebook group NYBC: Do the Right Thing helped raise money so that ATO could begin making relief missions to him. The following video documents the first mission:

Ideally, Ponso would be rescued and relocated to a primate sanctuary with other chimpanzees, but great ape charities say that West African governments are reluctant to issue transport permits for animals who have been exposed to diseases. Many of the NYBC chimps were infected with hepatitis. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa only complicates the movement of primates across country borders.

Concerned citizens worldwide advocate for Ponso

Concerned citizens worldwide advocate for Ponso

The primate rescue group ATO asserts that NYBC has made no effort over the past three decades to provide these chimps and their offspring with food, enrichment and veterinary care.

NYBC executives have not yet commented publicly on the 20 chimps who they left to die in the Ivory Coast. When confronted by mainstream media about this atrocity, will they shift the blame to the government as they have done in Liberia?

Caring New Yorkers are demanding that NYBC reinstates funding to pay for the lifelong care of their former lab chimps.

Caring New Yorkers are demanding that NYBC reinstates funding to pay for the lifelong care of their former lab chimps.

Advocates in New York City are escalating their campaign to pressure NYBC executives to fulfill their promise to pay for the care of their former lab chimps. On August 30th, a group of advocates traveled to the Hamptons, a wealthy enclave three hours away from NYC, to protest at the beachfront estate of NYBC Chairman Howard Milstein.

In September, activists will not only continue to protest against Mr. Milstein at his NYC apartment building but will also begin protesting at the home and office of NYBC Board Member Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the Dean of Cornell Medical School.

By leaving 66 chimps to die of starvation, Dr. Laurie Glimcher has failed to fulfill her promise to abide by the Hippocratic Oath

By leaving 66 chimps to die of starvation, NYBC Board Member Dr. Laurie Glimcher has failed to fulfill her promise to uphold the Hippocratic Oath.

Your Turn

The survival of Ponso depends on the generosity of the local farmer Germain and the West Africa-based primate charity ATO. Please support their efforts to keep Ponso alive by contributing to “SOS Ponso.”



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TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. The only human animal which sticks out like a sore thumb is the criminal animal. Animals by nature are mot aware of laws and by and with, therefore, ignorance of law as a defense – is in fact, MOOT, not a viable argument, no loophole covers this factual law of nature. Man is the only “being” with provision to reason. Blood Center knew FBI was soon going to be a formidable task force as other like firms, foundations, pharmacy farms et al are either risk takers and taking their time to “test” the power of the people and power of political persuasion, which, is a testament to their contempt of law and life. READ BETWEEN THE LINES. FILL IN THE MISSING LINKS.

  2. Maxine Sheehan says:

    The CEO, or whatever his title is is a billionaire, he could pay for a proper sanctuary to be built, and it’s permanent upkeep out of his pocket change. The greedy bastard. Know this asshole, there is a special place in hell for your type of being. I won’t call you a person as you aren’t, in fact you aren’t even fit to be called animal.

  3. pat dupree says:

    first do no harm. if u stayed in college long enough and r JUST a doctorate , it still applies. there are many other names u have earned but I would feel dirty saying them . THAT APE HELPED THAT FARMER PUT DIRT ON THE GRAVES OF HIS APE FAMILY WHO STARVED TO DEATH . U R A COLD HEARTED B—-h . I feel CLEAN .

  4. Kremer says:

    Dear Natasha , so kind of you if you want to help, please join the gofundme site
    http://www.gofundme.com/judyf2u8
    The currency is Euros. If you have some more questions, please get in touch with me or mp.

  5. Terry says:

    The NYBC should be brought up on criminal charges. The chimpanzees were their responsibility, and the NYBC abandoned the chimpanzees to starve to death. How is that different from a person letting their companion animal starve to death?

  6. Natasha Brenner says:

    I want to donate, but don’t understand the form. Is that Euros? dollars? what?
    The NYBC is beyond disgusting!

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