Target: Save the Chimps Executive Director Molly Polidoroff
Goal: Thank Save the Chimps for providing a sanctuary and home for rescued chimpanzees.
Save the Chimps (STC) has been rescuing, housing, and caring for chimpanzees after being founded in 1997 by the late Dr. Carole Noon. The United States Air Force had announced that it would no longer be conducting research using chimpanzees. Their chimps were mostly descendants of the chimps captured for the space program. The animals were sent to The Coulston Foundation, an organization based in Texas and infamous for its multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Save the Chimps sued the Air Force on behalf of the chimps and gained permanent custody.
The Arcus Foundation provided a generous donation and the chimps arrived to live on a three-acre island with climbing structures and a hurricane-proof chimp house. Shortly thereafter, seven chimps from the entertainment industry arrived and STC began to grow. In 2002, The Coulston Foundation (TCF), on the verge of bankruptcy, offered to sell their lab and buildings and donate their remaining 266 chimps. With a further grant from the Arcus Foundation and other animal-minded organizations, STC took over TCF and became the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary.
STC immediately improved the living conditions at the lab while undergoing a massive construction project of 11 additional islands at its site in Fort Pierce, Florida. STC began the “Great Chimpanzee Migration” and relocated the chimps to Florida over the next nine years in a specially modified trailer which could house 10 chimps at a time. On December 14, 2011, STC rehomed the last of the Coulston Foundation’s chimps onto their new island home.
Dr. Noon passed away in May 2009. She didn’t live to see the completion of the migration and relocation of the 266 chimps. Her vision is continued today with a dedicated STC staff who truly love and lovingly care for the chimpanzees at the sanctuary. Their mission is: “To provide and build support for permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade.”
STC embodies its mission as it continues to rescue chimps in need. Their latest rescue, eight year old Lisa Marie, is a chimp who worked in the entertainment industry in Chicago. After relocating her to Florida, examinations, and quarantine, Lisa Marie was introduced to one of the chimpanzee families at STC. Social bonds, grooming, and play are important aspects of a wild chimpanzee’s life, and the rescued chimps at STC are able to enjoy these basic chimpanzee behaviors–behaviors that had previously been denied to them.
STC is funded entirely from private donations and grants from foundations. They receive no government funding whatsoever. They do not breed their chimpanzees nor are they open to the general public. The chimps are also not released back to the wild as they are not equipped to do so. They have not learned the survival skills taught to wild-raised chimps since birth. Releasing them would be a death sentence.
Please sign this petition to applaud Save the Chimps’ efforts to provide a safe and secure sanctuary for its chimpanzee residents.
Dear Director Polidoroff,
Humans have treated chimpanzees very inhumanely over the years. From bio-medical research testing to blasting them into space, we have acted as if chimpanzees’ lives did not matter. It is heartwarming that a sanctuary like Save the Chimps exists and provides such loving care for your chimpanzee residents.
By providing a home, food, medical care, enrichment and love for the chimpanzees who were forced to live unnatural lives, Save the Chimps has demonstrated that humans do have the capacity to care for and about other species. Please continue your amazing work in providing for your existing residents and in rescuing those chimpanzees still in need.
We, the undersigned, thank you so much for all that you do.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Sirylok