Animals who are used to scientific testing endure a lot of hardships, and it is horrifying to think about what happens to them once they outlived their usefulness. In this story, at least, a group of lab chimps who were sent to an island to die after they were deemed useless by their original keepers got a happy ending in the end.
The chimps were originally being used by the New York Blood Center, who used the chimps for research until they eventually abandoned them in 2015. However, the organization has said that it will partner with the Humane Society of the United States to ensure that the chimps will have long-term care.
“I am delighted that these two organizations have agreed on a path forward that provides lifetime care for these long-lived and social creatures,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said in an official release.
The New York Blood Center originally brought the chimps, who were either captured from the wild or had been former pets, to a medical research center in Liberia, back in 1975, where they were used in the development of a hepatitis B vaccine and a sterilization method used to ensure safe blood transfusions. After the area became plagued with domestic unrest, which extended to two civil wars, however, it was decided to close down the lab in 2005.
The chimps were then taken to an island where it had been hoped they could live out the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the area proved unsafe for the chimps, with a lack of proper food and water for their sustenance. For ten years, the center paid local workers to take care of the chimps as best they could, but now the plan to provide for them has changed.
For the time being, $6 million has been given by the New York Blood Center in funding. As chimps can live up to 50 years, it might not be enough alone to ensure that all of the chimps live out their natural lives, but it is considered a good base for the time being.