Citigroup: Stop Donating to the New York Blood Center until it Reinstates Funding for Abandoned Chimps

After conducting invasive experiments on almost 500 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide them with lifelong care, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) recently abandoned the 66 chimps who are still alive, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst on islands in Liberia with no natural food or water. If NYBC doesn’t resume funding when the emergency contributions made by private donors run dry, the chimps could starve to death.

In 2005, Dr. Alfred M. Prince, an NYBC executive, stated that his organization “recognized its responsibility to provide an endowment to fund the sanctuary for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees." Betsy Brotman, the director of NYBC’s chimp research program, also acknowledged her organization’s obligation: ”It’s our responsibility to try to pay them back by letting them live out their lives in their natural environment. If you’re going to do work in chimpanzees, you should set up a system so that at the end of the research they have a place where they can live.”

When the chimps were no longer needed for experiments, NYBC released them onto six islands in Liberia where the caretakers from NYBC’s former research facility could provide them with food and water. “That’s what we agreed to do,” said Brotman.

NYBC also abandoned 20 chimpanzees on an island in the neighboring Ivory Coast. Nineteen of these chimps and their offspring have died. The sole survivor, Ponso, is all alone and being fed sporadically by locals and a group formed to provide emergency relief. He is in grave danger and must be relocated to a sanctuary.

NYBC, which has $450 million in assets and has reportedly earned approximately $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on these chimps, should not shift responsibility for the chimps to advocacy groups or the government of Liberia. As Jane Goodall noted in an open letter to NYBC, the organization has a “moral obligation” to pay for the care of these chimps.

The nation’s leading animal advocacy groups have made multiple efforts to meet with NYBC, but the organization will not even return phone calls. Perhaps they will pay more attention to their major donors. Please sign this petition to urge Citigroup, one of NYBC's top donors that also prides itself on corporate social responsibility, to make their donations contingent on NYBC reinstating funding for the chimpanzees. 

If you are a Citibank or Citicard customer, please mention that in the space for comments when you sign the petition. 

After conducting invasive experiments on almost 500 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide them with lifelong care, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) recently abandoned the 66 chimps who are still alive, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst on islands in Liberia with no natural food or water. If NYBC doesn’t resume funding when the emergency contributions made by private donors run dry, the chimps could starve to death. 

In 2005, Dr. Alfred M. Prince, an NYBC executive, stated that his organization “recognized its responsibility to provide an endowment to fund the sanctuary for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees." Betsy Brotman, the director of NYBC’s chimp research program, also acknowledged her organization’s obligation: ”It’s our responsibility to try to pay them back by letting them live out their lives in their natural environment. If you’re going to do work in chimpanzees, you should set up a system so that at the end of the research they have a place where they can live.” 

When the chimps were no longer needed for experiments, NYBC released them onto six islands in Liberia where the caretakers from NYBC’s former research facility could provide them with food and water. “That’s what we agreed to do,” said Brotman.


NYBC also abandoned 20 chimpanzees on an island in the neighboring Ivory Coast. Nineteen of these chimps and their offspring have died. The sole survivor, Ponso, is all alone and being fed sporadically by locals and a group formed to provide emergency relief. He is in grave danger and must be relocated to a sanctuary.


NYBC, which has $450 million in assets and has reportedly earned approximately $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on these chimps, should not shift responsibility for the chimps to advocacy groups or the government of Liberia. As Jane Goodall noted in an open letter to NYBC, the organization has a “moral obligation” to pay for the care of these chimps. 

The nation’s leading animal advocacy groups have made multiple efforts to meet with NYBC, but the organization will not even return phone calls. Perhaps they will pay more attention to their major donors. Citigroup, as one of NYBC's top donors and a company that prides itself on corporate social responsibility, please make your donations to NYBC contingent on the organization reinstating funding for the chimpanzees.

Update #46 months ago
EXTRAORDINARY: In response to our petition, Citigroup invited us to their offices to brief them on the chimp crisis created by the NY Blood Center and deliver the petitions. Just 4 days later, Citigroup issued a public statement asserting that "The current situation is not tolerable" and made a $50,000 donation to help care for the chimps! Thank you for signing this petition, and thank you Citigroup for listening, caring & taking action. Citi's statement: http://tinyurl.com/hdxgp5h
Update #38 months ago
Thank you for signing our petition to Citigroup. We have over 96,000 signatures and will deliver it when we reach 100,000. If you haven't already, please do encourage others to sign. For news and updates on the ongoing campaign to save the chimps abandoned by the New York Blood Center on islands in Liberia, please "like" the Facebook page New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing - https://www.facebook.com/New-York-Blood-Center-Do-the-Right-Thing-1563621057233191/
Update #29 months ago
Thank you for signing our petition to Citigroup! We have almost 82,000 and are approaching our goal of 100,000. Please help us get there by sharing the petition and asking others to sign it. Citigroup and the NY Blood Center's other major donors have the power to compel NYBC to reinstate funding for the chimps who they abandoned in Liberia. This petition, which will be hand-delivered to Citigroup, sends a strong message that the public (their customers) want the company to do the right thing.
Update #19 months ago
As part of the campaign to demand that the NY Blood Center reinstate funding for the chimps they abandoned, NYC activists stage protests and take video at the group's headquarters and at the offices and homes of its board members. On 12/11, Gothamist published a story about our most recent protest entitled “This is the Best Protest Video of 2015.” Please see link to that story, and please share the petition: http://theirturn.net/2015/12/11/tensions-run-high-new-york-blood-center-chimp-protest/
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