Blog

Hoot! It's Time to Chow Down for Chimpanzees!

PrintThe wonderful Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, which was “founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries,” is holding its annual fundraising shindig — which is a scrumptuous blast! — on Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m.

Seven chimpanzees live at the sanctuary — all from a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania. Before being used to test hepatitis vaccines and (the females) as breeders, they were captured in Africa and/or kept as pets and/or used in entertainment.

Now Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra live in a safe, peaceful place, making choices about how to spend their time — inside where it’s warm or adventuring outdoors. You can meet them and learn what they’re doing on the sanctuary’s blog.

You can also support them and help the sanctuary expand to be a haven for more chimpanzees by attending Hoot!, an awesome evening of vegan food and camaraderie, with a live auction, dessert dash and raffle.

This year, Hoot! is at The Foundry in SoDo and starts with an indoor bar crawl, followed by a sit-down dinner.

Tickets are $100 through April 1, or $750 for a table of eight. Sign up before they sell out, and we’ll see you there!

Hey, Geico: Bring Back the Gecko

sm_geico-no-sign copy

Eyes on Apes, a program of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, pointed out this week that Geico’s latest commercials include a chimpanzee.

Please let the insurer know that chimpanzees — like the sanctuary’s now-retired Burrito — do not belong in entertainment.

The animated gecko we’ve all come to know as representing Geico is far more entertaining, and without the cruelty that comes with animals used in this industry.

A letter from the strangely named “American Humane Association” says it was on hand for filming and that the “monkey” and snake in the commercial were not harmed. Hmmm. Monkey?

Please email Geico’s executives (CEO Tony Nicely at tnicely@geico.com and Christine Tasher in public relations at gcorpcomm@geico.com) to let them know you prefer the gecko — and if you’re insured by Geico, let them know you will switch companies if they don’t stop airing the chimpanzee footage.

We can make a difference! Thank you to Eyes on Apes and to all of you for taking action!

Here’s a sample email:

Dear Mr. Nicely and Ms. Tasher,

After years of thoroughly enjoying the debonair gecko in your television commercials, I really lost heart at seeing a live chimpanzee representing your fine company earlier this month.
These animals often become research subjects or roadside zoo attractions when their “acting careers” are over, as a well-regarded chimpanzee sanctuary in Washington state knows too well. Here’s more information about that and other unsavory aspects of this trade.
I hope you’ll bring back the gecko, who’s so much more in line with Geico’s values.
Thank you,
Your Name Here

Monkeys Dying at Everett Animal Lab

zpq9990842940003

Researchers call these monkeys, here from an NIH-funded research paper about how to reproduce them more quickly, “cynomolgus monkeys.” In the wild, they’re known as long-tailed macaques.

While we’re rallying hard to keep the University of Washington from building a new, underground animal research facility that no one but academic careerists need, a pharmaceutical lab just up the I-5 corridor appears to be doing what we’re trying to prevent: killing animals, including through neglect.

The USDA is investigating SNBL USA, the Everett-based facility of Japan-based Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act, The Everett Daily Herald reports.

SNBL “uses monkeys, dogs, rabbits, pigs and rodents to study the effects of drugs” there, according to the Herald. It’s the West Coast’s largest monkey lab, with up to 2,000 behind cage doors.

“My monkeys are much healthier than you are,” the former high school teacher who’s making a lot more money as the second-in-command at SNBL’s Everett lab, told the Herald a couple years ago.

Apparently not.

The USDA is looking into 34 monkey deaths brought to its attention by an animal rights activist in Ohio, Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now. The deaths did not occur in the course of research, and one — from October — was blamed by USDA inspectors on understaffing.

The monkey was strangled when its neck got caught in a cage.

Some 25 died of dehydration on their way from a breeding farm in Cambodia to the United States. Two others died of overheating after being chased by workers, and six monkeys died after apparent in-fighting to establish dominance during lives that are spent entirely as research subjects in cages.

SNBL, which likes to point out that activists are bringing attention to its deadly mistakes, also has faced complaints from the Humane Society and Pasado’s Safe Haven, the Herald has reported.

Action Alert: Help Stop Donkey Basketball in Ferndale — This Saturday!

The Whatcom Humane Society has put out an urgent request for an outcry against Ferndale High School’s Donkey Basketball Fundraiser this Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Ferndale High School gym.

“NOT COOL!” as they put it.

Donkey Basketball is a “game” in which people play basketball while riding donkeys. The animals are pushed, kicked and punched in the process. They also slide on gym floors are hit by wayward basketballs and are terrified by the noise and mayhem.

“Donkey Basketball fundraisers encourage our communities to exploit animals for profit and teach our children that animal abuse is acceptable,” the Whatcom Humane Society said.

Please let the people below know that it’s not acceptable in our community and ask them to cancel it. Their are other ways to raise money for their important programs.

Dr. Linda Quinn
Ferndale School District Superintendent
linda.quinn@ferndalesd.org

Jeff Gardner
Ferndale High School Principal
jeff.gardner@ferndalesd.org

Ferndale School District Administrative Number

360-383-9200

12592297_10153481144208215_1529556915510626205_n

In Chai's memory, please take two actions

When Scientific American described elephants’ lives in zoos as torturous, Chai could have been the poster child. Ripped from her mother as a 1-year-old baby she was crated and shipped from Thailand to a cold, barren barn cell in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. At 19 years old and after countless failed artificial insemination attempts, she was sent across the country to Dickerson Park Zoo to be bred. Upon her arrival she was beaten for up to 2 ½ hours for which that zoo was fined by the USDA. She lost 1,000 pounds.

chai

Chai came back to Seattle pregnant. Soon after Hansa was born Woodland Park Zoo began the artificial inseminations again. She was violated by this highly invasive procedure 112 times!

Chai endured the death of Hansa who died at only 6 years old from the herpes virus. This disease is almost always fatal to young Asian calves. Even though all the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo had been exposed to the herpes virus, the Zoo continued to artificially inseminate Chai—despite Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ relentless protests.

After Watoto died in 2014, the city of Seattle considered filing charges against Woodland Park Zoo.  Watoto went down during the night due to lameness and arthritis directly caused by zoo confinement. Woodland Park Zoo did not seek the assistance of a crane to lift her and she laid on the ground suffering for 4 more hours until she was euthanized. Woodland Park Zoo decided to close the elephant exhibit.

Ignoring science, the vast majority of Seattle residents, powerful media voices, the City Council and the Mayor, the Zoo shipped Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo—a worse zoo.

We are asking that the Seattle City Council, Mayor Murray and Woodland Park Zoo urge the Oklahoma City Zoo to retire Bamboo to an accredited elephant sanctuary. 

PLEASE do two things in Chai’s memory:

1. Write an email to Seattle’s newly elected City Council, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!
2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/

Talking points:

  • Woodland Park Zoo does not reflect Seattle’s values. Captivity of wild animals needs to end.
  • Woodland Park Zoo must pay for its negligence in caring for Chai, Watoto and Hansa. Please withhold funds from this rogue organization.
  • Chai, Watoto and Hansa suffered a lifetime of misery at the hands of Woodland Park Zoo.  Citizens demand more oversight.

bruce.bohmke@zoo.org, Ed.murray@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov , Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov,  Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov,  Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.johnson@seattle.gov

RIP Chai. Rest in your newly found peace.

Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founders, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants

Support the Animal-Abuse Registry in Washington State

Cowards who abuse or neglect animals are often repeat offenders and are violent to innocent creature of many forms, including humans.

Washington legislators are proposing Senate Bill 6234, a bill that would require state residents convicted of crimes against animals to register as offenders.

Such a registry would be a huge benefit for law-enforcement officials, animal shelters, concerned citizens, and of course animals.

This important bill must pass out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee by February 5 in order to move forward, so your voice is urgently needed! 

If you’re a Washington State resident, please fill out this form, urging your state legislators to support the bill.

Calling your state legislators is also extremely helpful. Ask them to urge the Senate Law and Justice Committee to schedule a hearing for Senate Bill 6234 and pass it out of committee for a vote.

You can  click here to identify your state legislators.

 

Chai Dies in OKC, Another Elephant Lost Too Young

tombstone_elephantsThe zookeeper who found Chai dead in her Oklahoma City cell this weekend thought she looked peaceful.

That might be the first time Chai was at peace since being taken from her mother at the age of one in Thailand. She was beaten at one location, then artificially inseminated 112 times in Seattle, where she also lost her 6-year-old daughter, Hansa, to herpes — a disease that’s ravaged young elephants in zoos for decades.

Chai also suffered from the pacing and swaying (here in Seattle) that’s indictive of the extreme trauma, stress and boredom that so many smart, social animals in captivity endure.

Zoo officials said the average life expectancy for an Asian elephant is 47. That’s in  captivity. In the wild, Chai would be in the prime of her life, as Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants point out.

Malee, a 3-year-old elephant, died of herpes in Oklahoma City last fall.

When zoo CEO Deborah Jensen bucked Seattle residents’ and the mayor’s wishes to send Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary, and instead sent them to suffer in another zoo, she went against the wisdom of one of her predecessors and Lyn Tangen, from the Woodland Park Zoo Elephant Task Force, who wrote: “No one can seriously doubt that elephants that have 15 or more acres to roam are better off than elephants crammed into a 1 or 2 acre exhibit in a zoo…. In the 21st century, Seattle has better ways to save wild elephants and their habitats than continuing to keep Chai and Bamboo at a zoo.”

Jensen, who was a huge success in the captive-elephant-loving Association of Zoos and Aquariums,  is blessedly no longer in charge of the zoo.

Now Bamboo is alone in Oklahoma City, trying to integrate with a herd after an unsuccessful integration attempt years ago.

Take Action: Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

Americans decry the dog torture and death that makes up the Chinese dog meat trade — but it’s still not a federal offense in the United States to crush, burn, suffocate, impale or otherwise subject animals to heinous cruelty.

It’s illegal to trade in video showing these activities, and the FBI is tracking animal abuse in a database that classifies such crimes as felonies — but they are not against the law at the federal level.

H.R. 2293, the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act), would make those things illegal.

It has just a 10 percent chance of passing, according to GovTrack.us.

Please take the time to contact your legislators, asking them to co-sponsor this imporant bill.

How Ray the Rescue Pony Came Home, and Could Help Change the Law

When a family in rural Washington found an elderly Shetland pony wandering along the road, they took him in and, if his owners weren’t found, hoped to keep him.

Because of a misguided state law, they couldn’t. He was sent to auction, where they paid a pretty penny to keep him, as Animal News Northwest recounts in the tale of Runaway Ray the Pony.

If no one had bought Ray, his fortunates would have gone the way of other stray livestock: to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered.

Fortunately, State Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) sat in on the auction and tried to change the law so that animals like Ray can be adopted, if someone is willing and able, rather than auctioned.

A hearing for House Bill 2500 is scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 28, before the House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources.

Please contact bill sponsor Rep. Caldier to voice your support: (360) 786-7802 and/or michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov.

Committee Chair Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) is a co-sponsor, as are Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor), Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) and Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver).

Join us at Humane Lobby Day!

Have you heard about Humane Lobby Day? It’s one of the most important days for animals in Washington State and it’s happening on Wednesday, January 27th from 8-3.

Washington_State_Capitol_Legislative_Building

Humane Lobby Day is an opportunity for us—constituents—to speak up for animals by visiting our State legislators in Olympia and letting them know about the changes that are needed to protect animals.

Learn more and sign up here.

Humane Lobby Day is hosted by HSUS. If you have questions, please email state HSUS director Dan Paul at dpaul@humanesociety.org.

If you’re wondering if you can make a difference, the answer is yes!

Christie Legally, the HSUS Washington State Council secretary, explains, “People often worry that they don’t know anything about lobbying or the current bills.  The Lobby Day agenda includes time at the beginning of the day when we will all learn about the bills we need to support. Staff members from the HSUS and other animal welfare agencies will explain each bill and why it is important.  We will also be learning how to lobby by practicing lobbying for bills with other attendees. “

“Also, people often worry that they don’t know anyone in the animal protect movement, and therefore they hesitate to go to Lobby day alone. But I encourage folks to come to Lobby Day even if they don’t know anyone there. You will meet people who are a lot like you who are taking a stand to protect animals. You may even meet other people from your district when you attend your Lobby Day meetings together. This day will be a full, rich day of learning about animal protection and the role of our legislature to protect animals!”

Read more about the importance of attending Humane Lobby Day, and remember that January 22nd is the deadline to register, so sign up today!