Next week, four of our clients—Hercules, Leo, Happy, and Minnie—have anniversaries of major events in their lives. In recognition of the suffering that all our clients have endured as a result of their imprisonment, and with hope they will soon be able to live freely and with peace and dignity, we will hold a week of action for them and invite you to participate.
Starting Monday, we will send out the action of the day and other ways you can help each client. Below is a summary of who we will be advocating for on each day and how:
Monday March 22nd: Advocating for true sanctuary for Hercules and Leo
March 21st is the third anniversary of Hercules and Leo’s transfer from the New Iberia Research Center to Project Chimps. Last year, whistleblowers brought to light well-documented information that showed Project Chimps and the Humane Society of the United States (Project Chimps’ primary funder) were not fulfilling their commitment to provide true sanctuary to Project Chimps’ chimpanzee residents, including the NhRP’s clients Hercules and Leo. The NhRP called on Project Chimps and HSUS to take whatever steps and devote whatever resources are necessary to immediately provide Hercules and Leo with daily access to an outdoor habitat. To our knowledge, Hercules and Leo still spend a majority of their time confined to their housing structure.
Action of the day: Request that Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, immediately provide Hercules and Leo daily access to the outdoor habitat at Project Chimps.
Tuesday March 23rd: Calling for Happy’s freedom after 44 years of imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo
March 21st is the 44th anniversary of Happy’s imprisonment at the Bronx Zoo. During the past 44 years—88% of her entire life—she has been imprisoned on a one-acre lot in New York City. The past 15 years she has been alone, without the necessary companionship of other elephants.
Action of the day: Urge the Bronx Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society to release Happy to an elephant sanctuary.
Wednesday March 24th: Helping Kiko and Tommy
The chimpanzee rights cases for our first two clients, Tommy and Kiko, ended in 2018 when the New York Court of Appeals declined to hear their appeal. Since then, we have hired private investigators to help determine and confirm their whereabouts and continually assessed what can be done to secure their freedom based on what we have learned and what remains unknown.
Actions of the day: Ask Carmen and Christi Presti to send Kiko to an accredited chimpanzee sanctuary where he can live with other chimpanzees in an environment that meets his physical and psychological needs.
Encourage people in your networks to watch Unlocking the Cage, featuring Tommy and Kiko’s stories and the NhRP’s fight for their freedom, on HBO, iTunes, or Amazon. Note: we will have further actions planned for Tommy based on new information we are currently assessing.
Thursday March 25th: Honoring Karen’s memory by fighting for Minnie’s freedom
This month marks two years since Minnie’s elephant companion Karen died of kidney failure at the young age of 38. Just a few months after Karen’s death, Minnie’s other elephant companion, Beulah, collapsed and died as the Commerford Zoo forced her to work at a fair. Minnie is now alone, without the necessary companionship of other elephants. The Commerford Zoo is merely keeping Minnie alive; nothing about her life resembles what is necessary to meet her basic physical, psychological, and biological needs. She is kept on the Commerford Zoo’s small property in rural Connecticut where she appears to spend most of her time in a small, dark concrete-floored barn. Karen suffered out of sight at the Commerford Zoo, which had been her prison for over 30 years. Minnie has the chance to avoid Karen’s fate, and Karen’s story must not be forgotten.
Action of the day: In Karen’s memory, please urge US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to use his authority to order the USDA to conduct an emergency inspection of the Commerford Zoo and investigate Minnie’s care and well-being.
Thank you on behalf of everyone at the NhRP!