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, January 19, 2010

Save The Chimps, Please Don't Allow People In To Stare At The Chimpanzees

 I love this sanctuary, Carole Noon did great things for these Chimpanzees before she passed away. I have to wonder what Carole would say now if she knew that they are thinking about allowing people in to glare and stare at the chimpanzees that she once just wanted peace for them? I'm allot disappointed with this thought. The main reason I loved this sanctuary is because it has always been that, a "sanctuary" away from the abuse, the staring and glaring of strangers eyes. Carole was even concerned about the media coming in and would only allow a small crew. She never wanted any of the chimpanzees to feel upset. In my opinion, who cares if people see them? It's NOT about the people, it's about Carole's Chimpanzees and what SHE wanted for them.

Hey, pretty mama. I know. You know I can’t open that window,” Feuerstein says. “Unfortunately, there will always be a barrier between us.”
When you hear some of their stories and what each of the chimpanzees have endured during decades of being subjects of biomedical research, it’s hard to believe they’d want anything to do with humans, especially strangers.
But sparing no shyness, Tanya puckers her lips up against the glass to give a visitor a kiss.

“The chimps are very, very forgiving,” said Feuerstein, who worked as a caretaker at a primate research lab in Georgia for five years before coming to Save the Chimps. “I look at them with a lesson to learn. If I was treated the way they were treated, I would hate the human race. But if you treat them with kindness they will treat you with kindness back in buckets.”
Since the 150-acre facility, on Header Canal Road west of Fort Pierce, opened in 2001, a steady stream of chimpanzees, including veterans of NASA tests and space flights, former pets and “entertainment” animals have been retired to live out the rest of their lives on 12 man-made islands with hills, trees, jungle gyms and hammocks.
Despite being the largest sanctuary for chimpanzees in the world, Save the Chimps has kept a low profile. Because the sanctuary is not open to the public, little is known about the non-profit organization.
However, that’s starting to change.
Now that Save the Chimps, with a $4.5 million annual budget, has in the last couple of years had the resources to focus more on its development, the organization wants to reach out to the public more and has begun organizing public fund-raising events, said Triana Romero, the sanctuary’s development director.
“We realize, being the world’s largest sanctuary, not enough people are aware of this, and we’re trying to change that by having a stronger community presence because it really is a unique place to have in your backyard,” Romero said.
Its inaugural public fund-raiser, which was held at Gallery 14 in Vero Beach in April of last year, raised close to $17,000 through the display and sale of artwork painted by the chimps. The organization in November held its largest public event yet at the Vero Beach Hotel, which attracted more than 250 guests and raised more than $19,000, Romero said.
“We’re now able to reach out to the public and the media to do events,” she said. “Prior to this, it was really Dr. Noon running this organization on her own.”
Dr. Carole Noon, who died in May of last year from pancreatic cancer, founded Save the Chimps in 1997 to provide permanent sanctuary to chimpanzees being abandoned by the U.S. Air Force and eventually sold to The Coulston Foundation lab in New Mexico. The lab went bankrupt and closed in 2002 after the federal government stripped its funding for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Save the Chimps took over the lab, and began slowly transporting chimps to the sanctuary in groups. The sanctuary is currently home to 167 chimps and 109 are still at the Coulston lab. Moving the chimps is a slow process, Feuerstein said, because the animals must be introduced in social groups of 25 to 30 chimps. The organization expects to have all the chimps moved by early next year and 10 more are arriving to the sanctuary on Wednesday.
It takes time for the chimps, most of which have lived much of their lives in complete isolation in “dungeon-like” conditions, to adapt to their new environment, Feuerstein said.
Noon, who studied chimps at a sanctuary in Zambia, before opening her own sanctuary in Florida, made a promise to the chimpanzees that they would live out the rest of their lives in peace and with little to no contact with humans. For that reason, the sanctuary is not open to the public. Even the staff has minimal contact with the chimps.
“There really haven’t been any changes, and that’s really a testament to Dr. Noon’s leadership and what she created, and that is to provide a peaceful retirement for these chimpanzees,” Romero said. “We ask nothing of them. Of course we recognize people’s desire to see the chimps and connect with them.”
The organization plans to purchase a “live” Web camera so people can view the chimps in real-time from the organization’s Web site. Romero said Save the Chimps also is contemplating holding an annual membership day where donors can visit the sanctuary.
The organization hired Phil Flynn of Vero Beach on Jan. 11 as its new executive director since Noon’s death. While Flynn is no expert in chimpanzees as Noon was, he has more than 29 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector, Feuerstein said.
Each of the islands, surrounded by moats of water, are about 3 to 4 acres and are connected to a hurricane-proof shelter. Chimps can go in and outdoors as they please anytime of the day, Feuerstein said. Chimps can’t swim so there’s little chance they can escape from the sanctuary, Feuerstein said.
And by the look of Gromek, who lay on his back in the soft green grass while staring up at the sky, he seemed quite content considering his background.
Gromek, captured in the African wild as an infant and rescued by Save the Chimps in 2000, spent close to 40 years of his life alone in a concrete cage about the size of a small bathroom with no social interaction. Now, he’ll spend the rest of his days galavanting about green hills with the rest of his friends below Florida’s sunny blue sky.
“He loves to look at the sky,” Feuerstein said.
Annual budget of $4.5 million
Relies solely on donations
All donations will be matched by the Arcus Foundation, dollar for dollar, though April 30
Employs a total of 70 paid staff at its Fort Pierce and New Mexico locations
Provides sanctuary for 276 chimps
Costs $15,000 to provide care for one chimp
167 chimps live in Florida and 109 live in New Mexico
The sanctuary’s goal is to have all chimps relocated to Florida by early next year
Costs $2,500 per chimp to relocate from New Mexico to Florida
After transporting all the chimps to Florida, Save the Chimps will have made 26 40-hour cross-country trips, stopping only for fuel
Chimps are hauled in a specialized trailer behind a pickup truck and each of the chimps get a window seat to watch their journey
89 chimps are still available for sponsorship
Chimps share 98.76 percent of the same DNA as humans
Organization’s Web site,
All produce is purchased locally. Between the New Mexico and Florida locations, the chimps consume:
1,925 pounds of apples per week
2,025 pounds of bananas per week
980 tomatoes per week
610 bananas per day
900 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches per week
Died May 2, 2009, from pancreatic cancer
Founded Save the Chimps in 1997 to provide permanent sanctuary for chimpanzees being abandoned by the U.S. Air Force
The Air Force rejected Noon’s proposal to care for the chimps and instead sold them to The Coulston Foundation, a biomedical research lab in New Mexico with one of the worst records of animal care
Noon sued the Air Force on behalf of the Coulston chimpanzees and won a year-long legal battle
In 2001, 21 Air Force chimps were the first chimps to arrive at the Florida sanctuary
Since the Coulston lab declared bankruptcy and closed in 2002, Noon took over the lab and began to slowly transport the rest of the chimps to Florida
Noon was inspired to help chimpanzees after meeting Dr. Jane Goodall in the early 1980s
Noon received her doctorate degree in biological anthropology from the University of Florida, specializing in the socialization of captive chimpanzees
Much of Noon’s field work was done at Chimfunshi, a chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia
Save the Chimps lost one of its oldest and beloved chimps, Marty, Jan. 10.
Marty was 50 and died peacefully of natural causes.
Marty was rescued by Save the Chimps in 2001 and captured in Africa as an infant. He was sold to the Holloman Air Force Base in 1963 and was used in flight experiments during the early years of space research. He also was used in biomedical research studies, including blood and drug studies.
Marty's kind and gentle personality quickly captured the heart of Save the Chimps' late founder, Dr. Carole Noon. He was often the first chimpanzee to whom Noon introduced new employees or supporters. Marty wasn't too tolerant when the "kids" in his group acted up, but there was no denying that he was a sweet, sometimes moody old man. He was entitled.
Legendary NASA heroes Cap. Robert Crippen and Capt. Scott Carpenter visited Save the Chimps in April of last year to pay tribute to the Air Force group. Upon hearing of Marty's death, Crippen shared this sentiment: "I was saddened to learn of the passing of Marty, one of the Air Force chimps that helped pave our way into space. However, I am pleased to know that he spent his waning years at the Save the Chimps facility. It truly is an excellent retirement home for these animals."
Peanut butter (creamy kind only)
Pasta and rice
fruit juice (any kind, no sugar added)
Powdered Gatorade or Powerade
Jams and jellies (any flavor)
Bread loaves
Shelled sunflower seeds and shelled unsalted peanuts
Oatmeal and grits
Dried fruit of any kind
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fleece throws and blankets
Stuffed toys (not stuffed with pebbles, beans, PVC, pellets or foam)
Small plastic toys appropriate for ages 1-3
Picture books and magazines
Paint (non-toxic), paintbrushes and art canvasses
Edible fresh foliage (banana trees, leaves, hibiscus branches and flowers)
To donate in honor of Marty or for more information about Save the Chimps, including ways to donate to the relocation project, call (772) 429-0403 or check out, the organization’s Web site.


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