The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

9 Good Reasons Why humans Should Not Own Chimpanzees


Toddy is a 31-year-old female. She has been comfortably and safely living at the Center for Great Apes for the past seven years but her life has not always been so simple. When she was a baby, Toddy was captured in the wild. As a youngster, she suffered from seizures which a veterinarian discovered was the result of bullet fragments lodged in her brain- most likely from her violent capture as a baby. Toddy was raised as a pet but was passed from human family to human family. After years of changing hands, she wound up at a breeding farm where she had four babies but was not allowed to raise any of them. After living with a group of chimpanzees at the breeder's farm, Toddy was separated due to health problems and kept alone in a small cage for several years. Her only companions were her caregiver at the breeder's farm and a stuffed toy gorilla that she carried with her at all times. She now lives at the Center for Great Apes sanctuary in peace. Despite her cruel past, Toddy captivates everyone she meets with her sweetness.


Jesse is about 17 years old . She was an entertainment chimp , even appearing in movies, until she became too large and strong to work anymore. It was then that she was put into a breeding situation. Within one month of her arrival at the Center for Great Apes sanctuary, Jesse had an infant. Though she's had numerous babies before, this is her first opportunity to raise her own infant.


Billy Joe's life started as a circus chimp. It was during this time that all his teeth were removed. After 15 years of the circus, Billy was "retired" to a life as a research subject. In 14 years at the LEMSIP, Billy was knocked down over 289 times - 65 by dart with 4 or 5 men surrounding his cage pummeling darts into his body to anaesthetize him for a routine blood draw. In the lab he would shake his cage back and forth trying desperately to prevent anyone from approaching. In addition to being infected with HIV, Billy endured some 40 punch liver biopsies, 3 open wedge liver biopsies, 3 bone marrow biopsies and 2 lymph node biopsies with no tangible or practical results. Billy was so stressed at LEMSIP that he once chewed off his thumbs after waking up from anesthesia with no one was around to care for him. During one fit of anxiety, Billy bit off his index finger. Anxious, aggressive, and fearful, Billy often banged incessantly on his cage, rocking and staring into space when left alone. Even at the Fauna Foundation, Billy was plagued by anxiety attacks-attacks so bad that they left him choking, gagging and convulsing. But Gloria and the other caretakers still describe him as their "sweet prince" and say he loved to feel loved. Sadly, Billy died in February 2006 at the young age of 37 years. The cause of Billy's death is suspected as being from a heart attack. The Fauna Foundation misses him dearly.


Tom was born in Africa and spent his first 30 years as a laboratory chimp. When he was about 15 years old, he was sold to the LEMSIP laboratory. In his subsequent 15 years at LEMSIP, Tom was "knocked down" (or anesthetized by dart gun) over 369 times. In 1984, he was inoculated with HIV and spent the rest of his lab years for vaccine research. This required some 56 punch liver biopsies, 1 open liver wedge biopsy, 3 lymph node and 3 bone marrow biopsies. Plagued constantly by intestinal parasites, he often had diarrhea and no appetite. When he had some strength, Tom banged constantly on his cage. Though he lacks the necessary social skills to be a part of a social group, Tom is a very likeable fellow who loves to socialize with both chimps and humans as well as adorn himself with baseball caps and socks. He is not only fashionable, he's also talented. He is a chimp artist whose paintings have been sold at auctions.


Jeannie was most likely born in the lab, quickly taken from her mother and raised by humans who cared about her only as a research subject. As a 13-year-old in 1988, Jeannie arrived at New York University's research laboratories (LEMSIP). During her time at LEMSIP Jean was constantly given vaginal washes and cervical biopsies. She was often treated for self-inflicted wounds in the early years. By the time she was 20, she was inoculated with HIV. Following a study in 1995, Jeannie had a nervous breakdown. For the next 2 years she was heavily medicated but still had aggressive seizures during which she screamed continually, ripping her fingernails off and thrashing out at anyone who came near her. Jeannie is not living with all the other chimpanzees yet because of the emotional difficulties she has been left with but she continues to show improvement.


Sue Ellen is a tiny chimpanzee who was born in 1968 and spent her first 15 years with Billy Jo in a human household. Though she was treated as a human child, she was also expected to work and so was used to entertain humans in the circus. When she became an unruly teenager, Sue Ellen was sold for research to New York University's primate research facility LEMSIP. In her first year as a research chimp, Sue Ellen withstood 29 liver biopsies. In future years she would endure another 11 liver biopsies, 3 rectal biopsies and 4 lymph node biopsies. Sue Ellen would eventually be infected with HIV and was used repeatedly for reproducing chimp babies, all of which were destined for research. Though she was probably a very social and outgoing chimpanzee early on in her life, Sue Ellen is mistrustful of humans and prefers her chimpanzee friends, Pepper, Annie, and Chance. She spends most of her days playing, resting, eating, and socializing at the Fauna Foundation.


You might say that Thoto, a 44 year-old male, has lived the lives of many chimps. Thoto was born in Africa, captured at a young age and sold to the circus. It was probably during his circus years that all of his teeth were extracted. After enduring the emotionally and physically stressful life as a circus chimp, Thoto became a pet for a long time until he was finally sold to a research lab. Thoto, who is one of Ron's closest friends, now lives a cage-free life at his island sanctuary at Save the Chimps.


Not much is known about RON's life before he was used for research. What is known is that Ron spent most of his life at NYU's LEMSIP facility. In 1996, LEMSIP closed its doors, but Ron would not be lucky enough to be spared more time in research and was sent to the Coulston Foundation where, according to his medical records, he lived a grueling existence. The many studies he was used for required that Ron be "knocked-down" (anesthetized with a dart gun) sometimes every day for a month. In 1999. Ron was recruited into an experiment called Spinal Dynamics in which researchers removed one of his spinal disks. To accommodate his pain from the experiment, Ron was given 3 days of ibuprofen. When Dr. Carole Noon and Save the Chimps found Ron at Alamorgordo, he was living alone in building 300. They suspect that he's always lived alone.


42-year-old LOU was captured from the wild in Equatorial Africa as a baby. Lou was two years old in 1966 when the Air Force acquired him for the Space Program. By the 1970s, the Air Force stopped using chimps and began leasing them out for biomedical research. And so, as early as his third birthday, Lou was enduring bone marrow and liver biopsies for pharmaceutical development studies. When he was mature enough, Lou went into a breeding program. Lou has lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico for most of his life but is now safe under Dr. Carole Noon's supervision at Save the Chimps.
Source and Photographs



  1. Anonymous8:28 AM

    First, welcome back, and hopefully you were able to get some mental health in.
    This is great information, and heartbreaking. Thank you for doing what you do, the love you show through your blog has changed my life. I now try to educate people on the plight of these wonderful animals.
    Thank you for caring enough to put so much work into your blog.

  2. Melinda Matthews9:22 AM

    Wow, what heart wrenching stories. I cried more and more the further I read.
    How horrible for humans to put these magnificent animals through all of this pain and suffering. It absolutely sickens me!
    Please let us know what can be done to spare little Eli from his impending future? What can just a regular citizen do? Who can I contact?
    Is there anything I can do?

  3. Hi Melinda;
    I cried the entire time I posted this and then again after reading your comment. It's just horrible what they go through, especially the ones that have been raised and loved by people, they just don't understand what they did wrong to deserve a life of pain, suffering,loneliness and fear.

    These are just a few of the many many chimps with horrible lives.

    There is something right now that is happening on the making of a new law which is sitting in the house right new waiting for our president to approve. It's called the Captive Primate safety act. There's many petitions that people can sign to help get this law passed. This will stop the pet trade, which will then stop the dumping of these wonderful individuals into labs later in iin their lives.
    Here is one link for a petition and also helping to make awareness of this law would be a great thing for the chimps in the future.

    As far as Eli goes, to my great despair and very saddened heart I know that because Pam Rosaire, Kays sister is USDA licensed and according to them, they are legally as of now allowed to have him and even when the bill goes through he and all of their other chimps will be grandfathered in under the new law, there's nothing we can do to help this little guy except pray for him.I am deeply hurt to say the least, that's why I took off a few days.

    I have to get the message across that even though they are cute and snuggly when little, hardly anyone keeps them through adulthood, except for the Labs. So people need to stop buying them as pets and for their own pockets. Those people to me are monsters!!!!! This is not the kind of life they were put on this earth to have.

    Thank you again and I hope you'll sign and pass on the word.

  4. Anonymous12:35 PM

    This is a real eye opener and a tear jerker for sure. I couldn't stop crying for all these sentiment chimps, why are humans so evil? How do these people sleep at night? These animals don't belong to humans to make them suffer, we are all here to share this earth, not to dominate the animals.

    Thank you for your education Judie

  5. Thank You Anonymous for your comment. Their faces sure show the pain and suffering that they have had to endure over their lives from Humans that's for sure. It's so hard for me also to look at the photos of their sad faces, hopefully the 8 that are still alive will live long enough to make those distance memories instead of daily memories. I just want to hug them all and say I'm sorry, even though it wasn't me that did it to them. Though it is people that do, so somehow I feel responsible also, just for being human.

  6. Hi Melinda;
    I was able to get the contact e-mail for the USDA in regards to who to contact for complaints, as with Eli.

  7. Melinda M9:34 AM

    Thank you Judie for your suggestion. I just sent them a very long email, and also called the office in Riverdale, Maryland.
    I hope they can do something about this. The more I read about them the more horrible I feel for little Eli's future.
    Are you sure that Gini Valbuena is involved?
    She seems like a very selfish person.

  8. Melinda;
    Your very welcome. I also contacted them, along with some of the other people that don't believe in their practices. Thank you for caring enough about little Eli to take the time to write and call.

    Yes I'm positive Gini is involved. There were a few Animal Welfare people at the baby shower that I have been in contact with and Gini was definitely there and is his so called "Nanny". These folks went there for the sole purpose to see what was going on.

    Another thing, unfortunately Gini and I have gone rounds and rounds via e-mail for the past 3 years about what she does. In an e-mail about 2 months ago she told me she had moved out of her house in Clearwater FL. had gotten a 5th wheeler and was living on the property at the Bat Cat Habitat.

    Her and Connie Casey are best friends and have been for almost 20 years. Connie Casey is the largest Chimp breeder in the US. She has traded and sold chimps to Gini for many years now, along with the Glasses in Texas (who have sold their business, recently).

    I don't believe for one second that he was rescued or bought from a CA trainer. In CA it is against the law to breed Chimps. I do know for a fact that Gini and Connie had a breeding contract. Gini had given her 2 chimps in exchange for a baby. Like they are used pieces of furniture. This whole underworld is so ugly, it's hard to believe it goes on here in the US, but it does.