Rescuing Stranded Chimpanzees at the California Wildlife Waystation
In 1996, a biomedical research laboratory in New York, LEMSIP, closed and outplaced their research chimpanzees at various sanctuaries and facilities around the country. The Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles accepted the largest group of these lab chimpanzees (nearly 50) and gave them a home until the Wildlife Waystation closed its doors in 2019 leaving hundreds of animals needing placement. All the big cats, bears, wolves, reptiles, monkeys, and birds were placed in various sanctuaries, zoos, and other facilities around the country, but 32 chimpanzees still remain stranded in Los Angeles, a year and a half after the closing, while they wait for rescue and a permanent new home.
Four chimpanzee sanctuaries in North America have agreed to offer a home and long-term care for these former research chimpanzees. The Center for Great Apes is one of the sanctuaries and will take a group of seven former laboratory chimpanzees.
Since they will be moving to Florida, we are calling them the “Sunshine Seven.”
The oldest of these chimpanzees are Sabina, Ewok, and Josh who will all be 34 years old when they arrive in Wauchula later this year. Maude, Mystery, and Billy are in their mid-20s. The youngest of the group is ShaSha who was a surprise birth in 2000 at the Waystation. ShaSha will be 21 when we meet her for the first time.
These chimpanzees still remain in their cage at the closed facility complicated by the high risk of wildfires in their California canyon. We must raise the funds to move them as soon as possible to Florida as well as give them life-long care here. We are looking forward to welcoming the Sunshine Seven to the Center for Great Apes.