Help Free Bill, The Chimpanzee, From Solitary Confinement

  • by: Mara Rigge
  • recipient: Councilmembers Peter La Vallee, Mary Beth Wolford, Virginia, City of Eureka, California
The Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, California has been keeping Bill, the chimpanzee, in solitary confinement for years. He is imprisoned in a tiny cement cell and the City of Eureka refuses to let him go to a sanctuary where he can be with other chimpanzees and run on grass and swing on trees. Please demand the Eureka City Council to do the right and humane thing and let Bill go to a chimpanzee sanctuary where he can enjoy life. He must not be allowed to continue to languish in and eventually die a lonely death in his cell.
The local children who saved Bill by buying him from a circus in 1957 did the right thing, but it was the only thing that they could do at that time. These children are adults now and can give him so much more.

Bill’s life is spent in that barren cage staring out through bars at us. He deserves better. He has spent his life “entertaining” us, now it’s our turn to repay him and give him the retirement he deserves.

There is a 150-acre chimpanzee sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Fla. Chimpanzees living there have been rescued from circuses, zoos, laboratories and military experiments.

They are given five-star service on private “islands” that they share with other chimpanzees who they have been carefully socialized with. These beautiful primates live the remainder of their lives in the lap of luxury. I think Bill deserves the same, don’t you?

I challenge everyone in this community to help Bill retire in Florida. Doesn’t everyone want to do that? I know I do! Please go to to see this awesome sanctuary for yourself, and then please urge the city of Eureka to surrender him to the sanctuary and give him a first-class flight there.

Through the sanctuary, the city of Eureka could adopt Bill for $120/year and receive “adoption papers” and regular updates on his life at the sanctuary. Updates and pictures could be posted at the zoo for all of us who love him and are interested in his well-being.

Let’s teach our children true compassion, let’s do the right thing for Bill.

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