Rescue Stories

Bob Barker Comes to Aid of Chimpanzees

Television celebrity Bob Barker has come to the rescue of five chimpanzees in Texas who needed a permanent home.

The five male chimpanzees are JoJo, Doc, Murphy, Flick and Pierre B. They are 37-41 years of age and lived most of their lives as medical research subjects, moving from one laboratory to another over a 30+ year span. They endured hundreds of sedations and liver biopsies and were infected with the HIV virus. They were ultimately retired a few years ago to a sanctuary in Texas, which was supposed to be their retirement home. Unfortunately, that was not to be.

Upon hearing about the plight of the chimpanzees left behind in a facility that went bankrupt, Barker made a contribution of $230,000 to Chimp Haven to begin building bedrooms and a habitat for them. He is also underwriting the cost of their care for one year. Barker’s donation provides immediate relief for the Texas chimpanzees, and it launches Chimp Haven’s plan to expand its accommodations for non-government supported chimpanzees who need homes.

Chimp Haven President, Dr. Linda Brent, says, “I hope Mr. Barker’s generous gesture will inspire others to follow his example so that we can complete this project and bring more chimpanzees to Chimp Haven.”

The core construction to provide immediate refuge to the five chimpanzees is estimated to cost $170,000, but a minimum of an additional $200,000 is needed to complete the overall project.

“These chimpanzees have spent their entire lives on concrete in cages,” said Barker. “They will now be able to climb and swing and hoot through the forest-like surroundings of Chimp Haven. They are curious and smart and are expected to adapt well to their new surroundings.” Barker believes that Chimp Haven represents the foundation for a model chimpanzee sanctuary. Its strategic plan includes expansion to be able to care for more chimpanzees who need help. Barker’s funding will allow it to begin enlarging its facility to meet that need. He encourages others to respond to the urgency of this situation and help as well.

Please watch this video for details:

You won’t see the five chimpanzees at the end of the video, because they are in a temporary facility until Chimp Haven finishes building their new home and raising money to pay for it. The very first contributors to the cause have been the New England Antivivisection Society and game show host Bob Barker. Other generous donors have followed, but we still need to raise $200,000. With your help-every donation counts!-the happy ending to this video will be produced soon!

Henry

Meet Henry! Henry was rescued by the Houston SPCA in 2009, where animal control officers found him in a rusty cage in a garage. He was alone and surrounded by filth. For 15 years, he existed like this. Before he lived in this situation, he was moved from owner to owner and known to have been beaten with chains. Henry’s chance for a new life arrived when the Houston SPCA rescued him. Severely underweight and malnourished, he received intensive care from the local SPCA and Houston Zoo before he could travel to Louisiana.

The SPCA and Houston Zoo veterinarians worked intensively on Henry’s recovery. From the start, they could see that he was friendly and liked people—a miracle, in light of what he had suffered throughout his life. After a few months of rest and veterinary care, Henry was ready for the next phase of his recovery. He was driven to his new, permanent home–Chimp Haven.

Integrating Henry into the chimpanzee population at Chimp Haven took several months. He continued improving his physical health, which required close monitoring by staff, a special diet and medication. That, combined with the fact that Henry had never socialized with other chimpanzees, required that he be slowly introduced to other chimpanzees. The process, very carefully choreographed, was arduous, but successful. Having been socialized by humans, not chimpanzees, Henry was at a loss to know how to act like a chimpanzee. Fortunately, his new family members were patient and continue to mentor him. And now…Henry has finally learned what it is like to be a chimpanzee. He is even asserting his dominance and making his way to be the top male of his group!

Henry needs your help. So do many other former pet and entertainment chimpanzees who desperately need sanctuary in a professionally run facility. They need the type of environment and care that Chimp Haven specializes in. Please help Henry by making a donation to the Chimpanzee Rescue Fund.