Saved From the Brink of Starvation
An Animal Rights Article from


Donny Moss,
May 2017

Background: New York Blood center (NYBC) conducted experiments on approximately 500 hundred chimpanzees and made a commitment to provide the survivors with lifelong care. They tested treatments and vaccines on the great apes at a medical research center in Liberia from 1974 to 2005. Then the chimps wer sent to to a secluded island near Monrovia, the country's capital, where there was not enough food for the chimps.

In 2015, NYBC terminated its $30,000/month funding to feed and care for the chimps.

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.

Watch video here...

blood center chimps
The New York Blood Center abandoned 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water (photo: Jenny Desmond for HSUS)

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.

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.”

feeding blood center chimps
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

Watch video here...

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