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Fall 2009 newsletter

Fall 2009 newsletter

President's Message:

Chimpanzees can speak on their own behalf. Not in human language of course, but rather in the myriad ways in which their behaviors, vocalizations, and expressions communicate so much to those willing to attend. And those willing to attend are the sanctuary leaders who, every day of their lives, assess the needs of those in their care and do their very best to meet them.

I had the honor recently of meeting with many of these fine women. I say women since the chimpanzee sanctuaries – and many of those for other species – are predominantly founded and run by women (one exception is Dr. Roger Fouts, but his wife, Deborah, is his essential partner). Just as Louis Leakey understood it would take women (Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas) to venture into the forests of Africa and Borneo to study our great ape cousins in the wild, so too there seems to be some unwritten directive to date that women be the caregivers and voice for rescued chimpanzees in captivity.

The late Dr. Carole Noon could read what was happening in a group of chimpanzees as well as any of that group’s members because she was, de facto, a group member. Gloria Grow has an intuitive and honed ability to understand the needs of her chimpanzees – their trauma, what they need to heal and what is special and unique about each individual. Dr. Linda Brent works with labs across the country and welcomes all chimpanzees fortunate enough to be “retired.” These are just three of the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to the lifetime care of chimpanzees rescued from research. In these leaders, the chimpanzees found their spokespersons.

NEAVS/Project R&R works closely with Fauna and other sanctuaries. Through these alliances we are supporting the day to day work and millions of dollars a year that it takes to provide chimpanzees from research the restitution they deserve.

Our movement – the many organizations that work to end the use of animals in research and other exploitation – needs to share the responsibility of providing sanctuaries with the financial and emotional resources needed to carry out their job. Saving animals from abuse through new laws, policies, and social change is not enough. We must commit to help provide for the animals once we have gotten them out of harm’s way.

To this end, NEAVS/Project R&R makes significant contributions every year to various sanctuaries including for the lifetime care of Pepper (Fauna) and Dana (Save the Chimps). We urge all animal protection groups and individuals who support the goals of the animal protection movement to include sanctuaries in their yearly giving, if they are not already. In addition to daily care, good sanctuaries join us in doing programmatic work to put an end to the kind of use and abuse that makes these sanctuaries necessary in the first place.

I want to thank and express my respect and admiration for all those amazing women who right now are cleaning enclosures, serving meals, fixing locks and managing their staff for the benefit of animals. Bless you all and know that in NEAVS/Project R&R you have a friend.

Theodora Capaldo, EdD
President 

To read the full newsletter, you can download the Fall 2009 UPDATE here.