Two years after the New York Blood Center (NYBC) abandoned 66 chimps on islands in Liberia with no food or water, TheirTurn traveled to the West African nation to meet the American and Liberian heroes who stepped in to save them from the brink of death.
After conducting research experiments on over 400 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide the survivors with lifelong care, NYBC decided to abandon the 66 surviving chimps, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst. In addition to abandoning the chimps, NYBC abandoned all of the Liberians tasked with caring for the chimps, who were totally dependent on humans for survival. Many of the Liberians, who were impoverished and suffering from the effects of the Ebola epidemic, continued to work on a volunteer basis until the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) stepped in and reinstated their salaries using funds donated by thousands of individuals and animal welfare organizations from around the world.
Dr. Jane Goodall, one of many leaders in the animal welfare community who have spoken out against NYBC’s decision to starve their chimps, wrote the following in a letter to the organization’s CEO, Christopher Hillyer, “I find it completely shocking and unacceptable that NYBC would abandon these chimpanzees and discontinue support for even their basic needs. Your company was responsible for acquiring these chimpanzees, some we understand even from the wild, and thus has a moral obligation to continue to care for them for the remainder of their lives.”
Please join the Facebook page, New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing, to stay apprised of the campaign to hold NYBC accountable and to participate in online actions on behalf of the abandoned chimps.