Help Wenka and Elder Chimpanzees

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Originally Posted: 21 May 2009

Help Wenka and Elder Chimpanzees

From Project R&R (Release & Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories)

Please ask Dr. Kington, acting head of the National Institutes of Health, to immediately release Wenka and the other eldest chimpanzees into permanent sanctuary so that they may enjoy their remaining years, months, or even days in the relative peace and freedom of sanctuary before they die.


Sign the online petition here


We urgently request that you exercise your power to secure the transfer of the eldest chimpanzees known to be in research laboratories into sanctuary. The most recent information we are able to obtain indicates that these chimpanzees (listed below) were born in the 1950's and early 1960's.

Many of these individuals have been used in research protocols or for breeding purposes for more than 40 years - many for their entire lives. They deserve release into the comfort and protections that sanctuary provides before they die. They have little time left.

Project R&R partners with several highly reputable sanctuaries who have indicated their ability to accept these individuals immediately.

The Chimpanzee Elders (and labs where held):

- Wenka, age 55 (Yerkes)
- Cheeta, age 52 (Yerkes)
- Lulu, age 52 (Yerkes)
- Maxine, age 52 (Yerkes)
- Flo, age 52 (Alamogordo)
- Karen, age 51 (New Iberia)
- Guy, age 50 (Alamogordo)
- Diana, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Jan, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Julius, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Lady Bird, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Pumpkin, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Sandy, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Walter B., age 49 (New Iberia)
- Clay, age 49 (New Iberia)
- Martha, age 49 (Yerkes)
- Mary, age 49 (Yerkes)
- Winny, age 48 (Alamogordo)
- Kirby, age 48 (Alamogordo)
- Maxwell, age 48 (Alamogordo)
- Pierre, age 47 (M.D. Anderson)
- Gigi, age 47 (M.D. Anderson)
- Happy, age 47 (Primate Foundation of AZ)
- Josam, age 47 (Alamogordo)
- Iyk, age 47 (Yerkes)
- Beleka, age 47 (Yerkes)
- Janice, age 47 (New Iberia)

Given the importance of chimpanzee social bonding, we also request that each individual be sent along with at least one or more chimpanzee cage mate or friend. Chimpanzees form powerful bonds. It is essential that these relationships be respected and appreciated as critical to the individuals' well being. Disrupting family bonds and friendships is a hardship many have endured for years. The elders must not have to pay for their release with the loss of one more relative or friend.

An independent public opinion survey commissioned by Project R&R found that 71% of Americans support the release of chimpanzees who have spent longer than 10 years in a laboratory. These chimpanzee individuals have far surpassed that mark.


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