Keep the chimpanzees home in Bend, Oregon

    We recently learned that Chimps Inc., is planning to relocate seven chimpanzee residents living in their sanctuary near Bend, Oregon. This relocation is unnecessary and can adversely affect the health and welfare of these beings.
    The sanctuary was originally founded by Lesley Day in 1995. Her commitment to the animals was to provide a permanent refuge to chimpanzees exploited in the entertainment industry and pet trade. Her first rescue was a male chimpanzee named Topo, who is estimated to be in his late 50’s. His conditions were dire, living in a dark trailer in upstate New York. After rescuing Topo, Lesley soon realized the plight of captive chimpanzee and began to structure the sanctuary around the rescue of several more chimpanzees. The family group currently consists of seven chimpanzees ranging from 16-55 years old.
    Sadly, Lesley Day is no longer involved with the organization, except for being the current landlord of the property. However, she doesn’t want to see the chimpanzees moved nor does she believe it is in the chimpanzee’s best interest.
    The relocation is unnecessary and not in chimpanzees best interests.
    Chimps Inc. was designed to accommodate the unique social dynamic between the two oldest male chimpanzees. After the rescue of the second male chimpanzee it was determined that Topo, the original male and Herbie an adult male at the time, could not be housed in the same group. When this was realized by founder Lesley Day and other experts in the field, the sanctuary was carefully designed to insure there could always be two social groups. The infrastructure of the sanctuary allows the chimpanzees to be moved from one enclosure to another, moving individuals between groups at any given time. This allows for novel social groups on a daily basis and helps to replicate their natural social behaviors. Many sanctuaries, due to their magnitude in size and number of chimpanzees cannot accommodate these kinds of special needs and consequently typically have one group of chimpanzees.
    Moving these chimpanzees to another sanctuary not only puts a burden on the primate sanctuary community, but takes space away from those chimpanzees still awaiting refuge- including chimpanzees retired from laboratories, the entertainment industry or surrendered from the pet trade.
    The sanctuary resides on a beautiful property in Oregon with an elaborate designed facility to provide lifetime care for this tightknit chimpanzee family. It is completely unnecessary to uproot them from their home of over 20 years.
    In order to avoid the relocation of the chimpanzees from their Bend, Oregon sanctuary, a new nonprofit was formed, Freedom for Great Apes (FGA) . FGA hopes that Chimps Inc. will recognize the benefits of keeping these sentient beings in their unique and familiar home and will transition the chimpanzees and their care to Freedom for Great Apes.
    Please sign this petition to show your support in keeping these seven chimpanzees home in Bend, Oregon and to encourage Chimps Inc. to transition the responsibility for their care to Freedom for Great Apes.
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