Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Citigroup Donates $50,000 to Support Chimps Abandoned by New York Blood Center

March 31, 2016 by Leave a Comment

The News

In a stunning display of corporate philanthropy, Citigroup is making a $50,000 donation to help pay for the care of the chimpanzees abandoned on islands in Liberia by the New York Blood Center (NYBC). In addition, the company has issued the following statement, in which it asserts that “the current situation is not tolerable.”

Citigroup statementIn response to a Care2 petition signed by over 224,000 people asking the company to stop supporting NYBC, executives from Citigroup invited representatives from TheirTurn to brief them on the crisis and discuss possible ways in which they could help.

Citigroup engaged with advocates and took action as a result of this petition.

Citigroup engaged with advocates and took action as a result of this petition and other grass roots tactics.

For a thirty year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted experiments on over 400 hundred chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture, breed and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight. After the research was conducted, NYBC moved the survivors onto six islands with no natural food or water and made a public commitment to provide them with lifelong care.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding for them,” leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by the blood center to deliver food and water, began to care for them on a volunteer basis. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, these volunteers kept the chimpanzees alive until an HSUS-led coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis — until NYBC reinstates funding.

The New York Blood Center, which earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimpanzees, has publicly stated that it has no “contractual obligation” to pay for the chimps’ food and water and has shifted the burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community.

When the news broke in the Spring of 2015 about NYBC’s decision to abandon the chimps, thousands of grass roots activists worldwide began to mobilize – contacting NYBC, donating to the fund to pay for the chimps’ care; signing and circulating petitions; and participating in online actions organized by NYBC: Do The Right Thing.

In New York City, home of the NY Blood Center’s headquarters, grass roots activists began staging protests in May.  They are now turning their attention to the blood center’s corporate donors, the largest of which is MetLife.

From left to right: Activists in NYC stage an NYBC protest; Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers a petition to MetLife, NYBC's largest corporate donor.

From left to right: Activists in NYC stage an NYBC protest; Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers a petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

Citigroup’s bold decision to make a public statement about the chimps and generously provide much-needed funding for their care represents a big step forward for the chimps and the concerned citizens worldwide who have been advocating on their behalf.  But the campaign is not – and will not – be over until the New York Blood Center fulfills its obligation – and promise – to provide lifelong care for their former lab chimpanzees.

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure NYBC board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Christine D says:

    I want to know flat out, did NYBC ever cough up the $ to support the chimps for life or relocate them where they can survive naturally?

  2. health tips says:

    Joy Bauer is one of the nation’s leading health authorities and talked to Channel 2 Morning Edition’s Nikki and
    Ariane about foods that can help improve cholesterol, blood pressure and belly fat.

  3. Maria M says:

    God bless you all protesting!! So brave and speaking up for these poor innocent animals.
    Many prayers for you.

  4. Chrinstine says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s lovely price enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net
    can be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  5. thomas creutzburg says:

    Stop it!

  6. Michael says:

    Is this true? Fifty thousand whole dollars? HOLY SHIT! Did the shareholders revolt? 50k? How ever will this corporate giant survive? Will the CEO have to cut out one whole trip to the golf course on his private jet? Will some poor board member have his 20 million dollar bonus decimated by fifty thousand dollars? I need to sit down, I am shocked by this ridiculously large donation.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      Citigroup didn’t have to give a penny. They are no longer associated with the NY Blood Center, and, unlike the NY Blood Center, they didn’t earn a dime off of these chimps. Citi met with us; listened; asked thoughtful questions; and, as a result, issued a statement on the issue. It’s the first company to step up. Also, $50K represents 2.5 months of food for the chimps while we continue to pressure NY Blood Center to reinstate funding.

  7. Samar grandjean says:

    Thanks for made it possible, for the animals!

  8. Zizi says:

    Donny…Fabulous activism and coverage! Great work! Don’t give up the fight! Kudos to Citigroup for stepping up to the plate! Time for MetLife to do the same! This is a disgraceful and disgusting example of corporate greed and indifference to suffering! Shame, shame, shame on NYCBB! Justice will be done!

  9. dee cheriff says:

    Love you for realizing all living breathing creations of God need love and support. Thanks for being compassionate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *