Ady Gil, a Los Angeles-based philanthropist and animal rights activist, has spent $2 million to purchase 1,300 monkeys on the verge of being sold to laboratories around the world. The long-tailed macaques were the last of monkeys at Mazor Farms, a primate breeding facility that supplies monkeys for experiments. Several hundred of Mazor’s monkeys were snatched from the jungle in Mauritius, an island off the coast of Africa, and shipped in crates to Israel. The remainder were bred in captivity.
Journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell spoke to Mr. Gil about his historic purchase:
According to activists with Behind Closed Doors, who have been fighting for 20 years to shut down Mazor Farms, infant monkeys born at the facility are kidnapped from their mothers and held in separate enclosures so that they can be bred as quickly as possible. The separation is traumatic for the infants and their mothers, who cry out for them. Those who survive are tattooed, sold for $3,000 each, stuffed into crates and shipped to labs for toxicology studies or invasive brain studies, which, according to the Israeli activists, is “a fate worse than death.”
Mazor Farms has been the target of Israeli animal rights activists for 20 years. In recent years, they have had some success with curbing Mazor’s operations. In 2010, the Israeli airline El-Al agreed to stop transporting animals for experimentation after video emerged of monkeys suffering in crates. In 2011, the Israeli government banned the importation of wild caught monkeys. In 2012, activists took to the streets of Tel Aviv in a dramatic protest to shine a spotlight on the atrocities committed at Mazor Farms and the labs where their monkeys are shipped:
Thanks to the generosity and vision of Ady Gil, Mazor Farms is closed for good. The monkeys will be sent to sanctuaries in Israel that are being expanded to meet the demand.
Ady Gil spent a stunning $2 million to free the monkeys, but his foundation will need help paying to expand an existing sanctuary and for lifelong care of these monkeys. Please visit Ady Gil World Conservation to see how you can help give these monkeys a second chance.