As Chairman of the New York Blood Center, real estate magnate Howard Milstein bears responsibility for the organization’s decision to cut funding for its former lab chimps who are living on six islands in Liberia. In an effort to convince him to fulfill his promise to provide lifelong care for the 67 surviving apes, New Yorkers have begun staging dramatic protests in front of the billionaire’s Park Avenue apartment building.
In spite of global pressure to reinstate the funding for the chimps, the NY Blood Center is digging in its heels, stating that it doesn’t own the them and that the government of Liberia is responsible for their care. They do not acknowledge that NYBC captured the chimps in the wild; bred them in captivity: held them prisoner in cages; experimented on them for 30 years; earned $500 million off the research; moved them to islands with no natural source of food and water; and made multiple promises to provide them with lifelong care.
TV journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane UnChained attended the first protest at Mr. Milstein’s home and filed this report:
The Real Deal, a real estate publication read by Howard Milstein’s peers, also has also reported on the grass roots campaign against him and the NYBC.
As New Yorkers prepare to expand the protests to the homes other NYBC board members, hundreds, if not thousands, of advocates in other parts of the world are taking action against the the Blood Center by participating in a grass roots campaign organized by the Facebook group, New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing.
In the streets, online and in the media, the NY Blood Center is being pressured to resume funding for the chimps’ care. On July 24th, the Daily Mail – one of the most widely circulated news publications in the world – posted a story that went viral: “Battle to Save the Hugging Chimps: Heartbreaking Story of 66 Apes and a Baby ‘Abandoned’ on Island by Medical Firm after They Finished Experimenting on Them.”