Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Urgent Action Call: Make a Call during National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees

To: All Fauna supporters in the US

As a supporter of the Fauna Sanctuary, you are well aware of the plight of captive chimpanzees and you have shown how much you care by adopting a chimp or donating to our Lifetime Care Fund or to one of our special projects. In doing so, you have helped give Pepper and everyone else in the Fauna chimp family a new lease on life. As you know, many other chimps have not been so fortunate and are still being exploited in US laboratories, waiting their turn to be released into sanctuary. This will only happen through legislative change and only with your support. Here is how you can help.

National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees in laboratories begins TODAY! Please take a moment to contact (for phone numbers/emails click here) your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513), which will end painful experiments on chimpanzees and retire them to sanctuary.

  • If you called or e-mailed before, please be a part of this national push by contacting your legislators again. A few minutes will help Congress understand that their constituents are behind this bill ALL THE WAY.
  • If your legislator is already a co-sponsor, (legislative map), thank them and ask them to put their leadership behind this bill’s success.
  • If they are not yet signed on, ask them what information they might need to help them join their bi-partisan colleagues who are already supporting the bill.
Here are talking points:
  • I am calling to ask Representative X [names appear in this message automatically]/Senator X [names appear in this message automatically to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513) because… [personalize with your reason]
  • Chimpanzees in laboratories suffer physically and psychologically. It is unethical, inhumane and scientifically unnecessary to continue to use them.
  • This bill will save millions in federal tax dollars, help reduce the deficit and redirect NIH funding to better research that will truly benefit humans.
Once you’ve called, please record it on our tracking form and let us know how it went. It helps us to know how many calls our supporters made when we visit members of Congress.

We, along with NEAVS/Project R&R, are committed to ending the exploitation of chimpanzees held captive in laboratories. But we can’t do it without your help. Ending chimpanzee experiments in the U.S. will free more than 1,000 individuals from suffering, crushing boredom and living and dying in a laboratory.

Over the last few months, major scientific journals and media outlets such as Scientific American and the New York Times have published opinion pieces declaring that it’s time to ban research on chimpanzees. Scientists from both public and private sectors agree that the use of chimpanzees can end without any negative impact on human health and well-being. So why does it continue?

Join our fight to end the unethical and ineffective use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and testing. Your members of Congress need to know that you care deeply about this issue and that, like millions of others nationwide, you are committed to seeing the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act signed into law!

Please call your members of Congress NOW and urge them to support this historic bill and tell us what their reply was. Please forward this e-alert to your family and friends to make sure that we keep the phones ringing and the emails flowing on Capitol Hill this week.

Do it for yourself and for all the chimpanzees who are counting on us!!

Thank you,

Gloria Grow,
Founder and Director
Fauna Sanctuary

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Psychology Today by: Gay Bradshaw

According to a report in today's New York Times, "Chimps' days in labs may be dwindling." [2] Should Congress pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 [3], this may indeed be true. The legislation bans invasive research on all great apes, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons, and orangutans.

Imagine there's no heaven

For those currently incarcerated and subjected to invasive research, it is easy to imagine that there is no heaven. The Act defines ‘invasive research' as "any research that may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma to a great ape, including [3]:

Photo: Jeannie at LEMSIP

Visit the following link for the full article:


Chimps’ Days in Labs May Be Dwindling

Marlon, a 10-year-old chimpanzee at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana.

Published: November 14, 2011

NEW IBERIA, La. — In a dome-shaped outdoor cage, a dozen chimpanzees are hooting. The hair on their shoulders sticks straight up. “That’s piloerection,” a sign of emotional arousal, says Dr. Dana Hasselschwert, head of veterinary sciences at the New Iberia Research Center. She tells a visitor to keep his distance. The chimps tend to throw pebbles — or worse — when they get excited.

This week: Beyond planet Earth, taking care of our closest relatives, and when your brain just won’t deliver.

The Science Times

Chimps’ similarity to humans makes them valuable for research, and at the same time inspires intense sympathy. To research scientists, they may look like the best chance to cure terrible diseases. But to many other people, they look like relatives behind bars.

Biomedical research on chimps helped produce a vaccine for hepatitis B, and is aimed at one for hepatitis C, which infects 170 million people worldwide, but there has long been an outcry against the research as cruel and unnecessary. Now, because of a major push by advocacy organizations, a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year. As it is, the United States is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. The other is the central African nation of Gabon.

“This is a very different moment than ever before,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “Now is the time to get these chimps out of invasive research and out of the labs.”

John VandeBerg, director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, one of six labs that house chimpanzees, agreed that this is “a crucial moment.” Any of several efforts by opponents “could be the cause of a halt in all medical research with chimpanzees,” he said.

The Humane Society of the United States and other groups pushed the National Institutes of Health to commission a report on the usefulness of chimps in research, due this year. The society also joined with the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society and others to petition the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to declare captive chimps endangered, as wild chimps already are, giving them new protections. A decision is due by next September.

In addition, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, now in Congress, would ban invasive research on all great apes (including bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). Representative Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican who is one of the bill’s sponsors, says it would save taxpayers $30 million a year spent on chimpanzees owned by the government.

Mr. Pacelle says that invasive research on chimpanzees is expensive, that there are alternatives and that chimps in research studies suffer painful procedures and isolation. “This is an endangered species that is closer than any other species genetically,” he said. “And we shouldn’t abuse our power.”

Dr. VandeBerg, on the other hand, says that stopping research with chimps would be a threat to human lives.

“Any reduction in the rate of development of drugs for these diseases will mean hundreds of thousands of people, really millions of people, dying because it would be years of delay,” he said.

If human lives can be saved, Dr. VandeBerg said, “it would be grossly unethical not to do research” on chimpanzees.

There are 1,000 chimps housed in research facilities in the United States, including at the New Iberia Research Center. The center, part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, occupies 100 acres in the heart of Cajun country about 130 miles west of New Orleans. It houses 360 chimpanzees, 240 of which belong to the university and 120 to the N.I.H., and more than 6,000 other primates, mostly rhesus macaque monkeys. It has faced accusations of chimp mistreatment in the past, and some violations of animal care standards were found, and corrected, according to Department of Agriculture inspections. The latest, in July, found some outdated drugs for the animals.

On a recent visit, some of the chimpanzees were in 34-foot-diameter geodesic domes, some in smaller outdoor cages, and some, less than 10 at that time, said Dr. Thomas J. Rowell, the director of the center, were in active studies and held in indoor cages about 6 feet by 5 feet and 7 feet high, one chimp per cage. * The physical procedures involved in the studies, he said, involved injections, blood samples and liver biopsies, the latter done under sedation.

Many studies last only a couple of days, Dr. Rowell said, but a few are longer. A study near completion had been going on for four months. He passionately defended the center’s treatment of chimps, emphasizing the veterinary care and efforts to enrich the chimps’ lives with more interesting environments.

Using captive chimpanzees for research in this country dates to the 1920s, when Robert Yerkes, a Yale psychology professor, began to bring them into the country. During the 1950s, the Air Force began to breed chimps for the space program, starting with 65 caught in the wild. Chimps were also bred for AIDS research in the 1980s, which met a dead end. By the mid-1970s, support for preservation of threatened species had grown, and the importing of wild-caught chimps was prohibited. In 2000, a federal law was passed requiring the government to provide for retirement of chimps it owned after their use in experiments was over, and Chimp Haven opened near Shreveport, La., to care for these chimps and others.

It was an attempt to bring some semiretired chimps at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico back into the research pipeline that prompted part of the recent surge of opposition. The N.I.H. wanted to move about 200 chimps it owned from Alamogordo to the San Antonio center, which is part of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. The Humane Society lobbied to prevent the move, and the N.I.H. relented, asking the Institute of Medicine, an advisory board, for the report on chimps in experimentation this year.

Chimp Haven, one potential retirement destination, now has 132 chimps on 200 acres of pine woods. Chimps live in a variety of cages and enclosures, including concrete-walled play yards of about a quarter of an acre, open to the sky, and two forested habitats, one four acres and the other five, bounded by a moat and fences. But chimps at research centers might not move at all, even if research is stopped. They might simply stay where they are, exempt from invasive studies.

Whatever the decision, both researchers and advocates know that chimps are only one tiny piece of animal research, one part of a bigger debate.

Kathleen Conlee, senior director for animal research issues at the Humane Society, says that the current discussion about chimps points the way to the future. “This,” she said, “is the kind of rigorous analysis we should be applying to all animal research.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 14, 2011

A previous version of this article gave an incomplete name for a bill now in Congress. The bill is called the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011.

*The attached photo shows one of the cages the rescued chimps (now at the Fauna Sanctuary) lived in for years while enduring painful experiments. The cages (including the floors) were made of metal bars; they were hauled up to the ceiling each day where they then lived in isolation-- no enrichment or direct contact with any other chimps (though in the wild they live in extended families).

** This year’s film ” Project Nim” shows the quality of the lives of some of the scientists doing these experiments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wildlife at Fauna

Early morning at Fauna. Our front pasture full of wild Canada Geese.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Gifts for the Chimps/Des cadeaux pour les ch

Special Thank You to all who have donated gifts /Nos plus sincères remerciements à tous ceux et celles qui ont offert des cadeaux..

Christophier Diaz, Taryn Graham, Lise Brais, Mara ScomParin, Tanya McAleer, alise Thibault, Jessica Tremblay, Celine Lavallee, Dawna Killen-Courtney, Shainty Rant, Nathalie Martel

Maya’s first days on the islands / Premiers pas de Maya sur les îles

Maya has been at Fauna for four years now and we are so happy to finally see her out on the islands. She just loves being outside now and has spent a lot of time on the different islands throughout the entire summer.

When Maya first arrived, she was the last of her group to venture out. The first thing she did was to sit on a wooden structure close to the perimeter fencing separating Billy Jo’s Island from Donna Rae’s Island. Maya is a chimp’s chimp, which means she loves to have new friends. She seemed quite interested in the chimps who were on the neighbouring island but she had not been introduced to them yet and we were not sure whether she would try to go visit them on the other island. With some coaxing, she eventually made it in and we decided to wait until she had made more friends and until we felt secure enough to try again.

That day came this past May, when Maya ventured out on the island with Binky and Spock as if she had always been out. This time again, she went to sit close to the fence line between the islands but only to observe her other island neighbours.

Premiers pas de Maya sur les îles

Depuis quatre ans que Maya vivait parmi nous, on ne l’avait pas encore convaincue de s’aventurer sur les îles. Mais, cette année, nous avons enfin eu le plaisir de la voir s’y promener tout au long de l’été.

À son arrivée au sanctuaire, Maya a été la dernière de son groupe à oser sortir. La première fois qu’elle est sortie, elle s’est tout d’abord installée sur une des structures en bois, près de la clôture qui sépare l’île de Billy Jo de celle de Donna Rae. Comme Maya est extrêmement attachée à ses congénères, elle s’est tout de suite intéressée aux chimpanzés qui se trouvaient sur les îles avoisinantes, sans pour autant oser aller les rejoindre. Nous avons donc préféré attendre qu’elle se soit familiarisée avec tout le monde avant de tenter l’expérience de nouveau.

Ce jour-là est venu en mai dernier, alors que Maya s’est aventurée sur l’île en compagnie de Binky et de Spock, comme si c’était la choise la plus naturelle au monde. Fidèle à son habitude, elle s’est assise près de la clôture pour observer ses voisins des autres îles.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Theo our Olive Baboon / Notre babouin Theo

Room Enrichment after cleaning / Les activités d’enrichissement après le nettoyage

Baboons and other Monkeys do not like direct eye contact, it is perceived as a threat.Here Theo caught us looking at him, that is the reason for the wide eye direct look. He is challenging us , therefore we simply shift our eyes to another location and he is fine and continues on with his game. / Les babouins et les autres singes se sentent menacés lorsqu’on les regarde droit dans les yeux. Quand Theo nous surprend à le regarder directement, il nous lance un regard de défi, les yeux grands ouverts. Dès que nous détournons notre regard, il reprend ses activités.

Having fun totally trashing his new grass, looking for bugs we presume. / Il s’amuse à démolir la pelouse nouvellement installée. Peut-être qu’il y recherche des insectes?
Where are the bugs? / Où sont donc les insectes?
A new place to sit and rest, as well as, showing us his amazing teeth / Un nouvel endroit pour s’asseoir… et nous faire voir ses crocs impressionnants.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From the Chimp House

Here are some pictures of the amazing theme days that Natasha has been putting together these past months..

Voici quelques photos des merveilleuses journées thématiques organisées par Natasha ces derniers mois.

Pool Shark Party /les requins

Space Day / Journée de l’exploration spatiale

Jethro's Birthday "All wrapped up theme" / Pour l’anniversaire de Jethro, une journée «emballante«

Barbie Theme Day with treats /La journée de la poupée Barbie