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Chimp Rescuer Sets Up Sting Operation to Seize Baby from Exotic Pet Trafficker

February 2, 2018 by Leave a Comment


The News

When chimpanzee rescuer Jenny Desmond heard that exotic pet traffickers were attempting to sell a baby in Monrovia (the capital of Liberia), she swung into action, working with local wildlife authorities to both rescue the chimp and capture the perpetrator. Desmond, who runs Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP) with her husband Jim, set up a sting operation to lure the trafficker onto her property; document him asking for money; and have him arrested by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the government agency that enforces Liberia’s wildlife laws. Desmond captured the sting on camera:
The trafficker, who appeared to be in his 20s, told Ms. Desmond and the FDA official that he purchased the chimp from hunters. In Liberia, as in other African countries with a wild chimpanzee population, poachers kill adult chimps for bushmeat and sell their babies as exotic pets.
[caption id="attachment_11805" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Jenny Desmond of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection comforts Ella, a baby chimp who is clinging on to the exotic pet trafficker who was attempting to sell her.[/caption]
 
Before the Desmonds created a chimpanzee sanctuary, Liberian officials turned a blind eye to the sale of baby chimps because they didn’t have a place to bring them following a confiscation. The lack of enforcement has, until now, enabled the exotic pet trade to flourish. While the Desmonds continue to receive confiscated chimps, they anticipate that the numbers will dwindle over time as poachers and traffickers come to the realization that authorities are confiscating animals and prosecuting the crimes. 
[caption id="attachment_11806" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Two of the approximately 20 chimps rescued by Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection after being held captive[/caption]
Since arriving in Liberia in 2015, the Desmonds have rescued over 20 chimps, all of whom are being housed in a makeshift sanctuary. In December, 2017, they leased a 100 acre tract of forested land on the local river where they plan to build a proper sanctuary from the ground up. The sanctuary, LCRP, will have enclosed areas in the forest so that the chimps can live in a semi-wild environment by day; night time housing for the younger chimps; a clinic; a commissary for food preparation; isolation areas for new arrivals to prevent the spread of illnesses; housing for caregivers and volunteers; public areas for education and conservation programs; and administrative offices.
[caption id="attachment_11808" align="alignnone" width="887"] After being confiscated by wildlife authorities, Ella, a victim of the exotic pet trade whose mother was killed by poachers, finds peace and happiness at Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP)[/caption]

Your Turn

Please support the life-saving rescue and conservation work being conducted by Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection.

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IBM Issues Public Statement Severing Ties With New York Blood Center Over Chimp Abandonment

May 16, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

In a statement posted on its website, IBM announced that it has severed all ties with the NY Blood Center on account of the organization's decision to abandon 66 chimpanzees with no food or water on islands in Liberia. IBM joins NYBC's other long term corporate partners, MetLife and Citigroup, in demanding accountability from the organization. [caption id="attachment_10957" align="alignnone" width="1500"] IBM severs ties with NY Blood Center over chimp abandonment[/caption] The announcement, which states that IBM has suspended its blood drives, marks the end of a 54 year relationship between IBM and NYBC. [caption id="attachment_10865" align="alignnone" width="2026"] IBM has terminated its 54 year partnership with IBM on account of the abandoned chimps[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10868" align="alignnone" width="2594"] IBM donated space to the New York Blood Center for blood drives.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10861" align="alignnone" width="1466"] IBM's decision to sever ties with the NY Blood Center marks the end of a 54 relationship.[/caption] The news comes after a protest at IBM and months of discussions with animal welfare advocates who have been working to convince NYBC's corporate parters to demand accountability from the organization. [caption id="attachment_10953" align="alignnone" width="1372"] The Care2 petition asking IBM to demand accountability from NYBC was signed by over 163,000 people.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10946" align="alignnone" width="1720"] The NY Blood Center abandoned 66 chimps on islands with no natural food or water and cut all funding for their care. Here, the chimps await the daily delivery of food and water. (Photo: Jenny Desmond for HSUS)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10992" align="alignnone" width="1608"] After NYBC abandoned the chimps, the animals went a week with no food or water.[/caption] After conducting research experiments on approximately 500 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide the survivors with lifelong care, NYBC decided to abandon the 66 surviving chimps with no food or water on islands in Liberia, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst. Using money donated by the public, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has stepped in on an emergency basis to cover the monthly costs associated with feeding the chimps. [caption id="attachment_10808" align="alignnone" width="1912"] Among the many organizations that have spoken out against the New York Blood Center are Citigroup, MetLife and the Jane Goodall Institute[/caption] 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 and thus has a moral obligation to continue to care for them for the remainder of their lives.” [caption id="attachment_9639" align="alignnone" width="617"] The NY Blood Center made a promise to provide their chimpanzees with lifelong care.[/caption] In February, TheirTurn's Donny Moss traveled to Liberia to visit and document the abandoned chimps; the Liberians who stepped in on a voluntary basis to save their lives; and Jenny and Jim Desmond, the American couple contracted by HSUS to oversee the care of the chimps.

Your Turn

Please thank IBM for taking a principled stand against the New York Blood Center by retweeting this tweet. 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. [caption id="attachment_10998" align="alignnone" width="1374"] Chimps abandoned by the New York Blood Center on islands in Liberia await their daily delivery of food and water.[/caption]

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Saved From the Brink of Starvation (VIDEO)

May 8, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

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. [caption id="attachment_10964" align="alignnone" width="2198"] The New York Blood Center abandoned 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water (photo: Jenny Desmond for HSUS)[/caption] 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.” [caption id="attachment_10971" align="alignnone" width="2826"] Jenny Desmond (pictured on left) and her husband Jim were hired by HSUS to oversee the care of the chimps abandoned by the New York Blood Center[/caption]

Your Turn

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.

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Activists Confront NY Blood Center’s Michael Hodin Over Abandoned Chimps

April 17, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

As New York Blood Center (NYBC) board member Michael Hodin walked toward his Manhattan home, activists protesting his decision to abandon 66 chimps with no food or water confronted him face-to-face for the first time. During previous protests outside of his luxury condo, Hodin has always watched from his windows.

Hodin, who is the CEO of the for-profit Global Coalition on Aging, stands by the Blood Center's decision to abandon the chimps. “Hodin advocates for elderly humans, yet he signed off on a plan to leave elderly chimps to starve to death,” said Donny Moss of TheirTurn. “Elder abuse is elder abuse, regardless of the species. How sad that Mr. Hodin can’t connect the dots.” [caption id="attachment_10881" align="alignnone" width="1744"] Photo on the right by Jenny Desmond for HSUS[/caption] During the past year, the abandoned chimp protests at Hodin’s apartment have become more heated, as neighbors have grown weary of the presence of activists. In October, 2016, the New York Post ran a story about the protests (War Between Nonprofits Rages over Care of Research Chimpsin which a spokesperson for NYBC, Rob Purvis, made false claims about the activists:  “There have been attempts to enter trustees’ residences, and photos of trustees’ children and grandchildren have been posted online.”   [caption id="attachment_10883" align="alignnone" width="2068"] Christopher Hillyer, the CEO of this charity, had a compensation package that exceeded $1.5M as of 2014.[/caption] After conducting research experiments on almost 500 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide the survivors with lifelong care, NYBC decided to abandon the 66 surviving chimps with no food or water on islands in Liberia, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst. Using money donated by members of the public, Citigroup and The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has stepped in on an emergency basis to cover the monthly costs associated with feeding the chimps. [caption id="attachment_10808" align="alignnone" width="1912"] Among the many organizations that have spoken out against the New York Blood Center are Citigroup, MetLife and the Jane Goodall Institute[/caption] 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." [caption id="attachment_10888" align="alignnone" width="776"] NYBC made a commitment to provide the survivors of its experiments with lifelong care, but the organization changed its mind, leaving the chimps to starve to death on islands with no natural food or water.[/caption]

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page, New York Blood Center: To 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.

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Chimp Advocates Stage Disruption in IBM’s Lobby

January 24, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

After being strung along for months with promises from IBM, advocates fighting on behalf of the chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center (NYBC) staged a disruption in the company's lobby in NYC. IBM is one of NYBC's largest corporate partners. https://youtu.be/dRhyccwZTg4
Over the past four months, IBM gave advocates the distinct impression that the company was genuinely concerned about the abandoned chimps and that it planned to demand accountability from NYBC, which operates a lucrative blood collection site at an IBM campus in upstate New York. Advocates now realize that company's ongoing expression of concern was merely strategy to contain them — with the hope that they would go away.
Advocates say that, as IBM misled the community by stringing them along, a real atrocity with real victims was taking place. Advocates also say that, as long as IBM continues to turn a blind eye to NYBC’s crime while maintaining a mutually beneficial alliance with the organization, the company remains complicit.
[caption id="attachment_10689" align="alignnone" width="6016"] Advocates stage protest at IBM building in NYC (Photo by Michael Whitley Photography
@JiveAssTofurkey)[/caption]
For a 30 year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted experiments on approximately 500 chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture, breed and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight. After completing the research, NYBC moved the survivors onto six islands with no natural food or water and made a public commitment to provide them with lifelong care.
[caption id="attachment_9639" align="alignnone" width="617"] The NY Blood Center made a promise to provide their chimpanzees with lifelong care.[/caption]
In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding,” leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by NYBC 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 a coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups, led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis.
[caption id="attachment_9706" align="alignnone" width="800"] Chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center on islands in Liberia[/caption]
NYBC, which has 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 financial burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community. Advocates are now demanding that NYBC's corporate partners, like IBM, hold the organization accountable for its crime.

Your Turn

Sign the petition to IBM. Use this tweet sheet, which targets IBM and other NY Blood Center partners. 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 the NY Blood Center to provide lifelong care to their former laboratory chimps.

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