Pas moins de 66 chimpanzés ont été abandonnés au Libéria, par le Centre Sanguin de New York (New York Blood Center, ou NYBC ).
Après les avoir utilisés pendant des décennies pour ses expériences, le NYBC a décidé que ces chimpanzés ne sont plus nécessaires à ses recherches, et les a brutalement abandonnés, cessant de leur assurer le moindre soin.
Après des décennies d’isolement, ces pauvres créatures ne disposent pas des compétences nécessaires pour survivre seuls à l’état sauvage. A court terme, elles risquent déshydratation et famine.
Jane Goodall, la célèbre primatologue végétarienne, a quant à elle adressé une lettre ouverte au PDG du New York Blood Center, pour lui signifier à quel point il est choquant et inacceptable que NYBC abandonne ces chimpanzés sans assurer ne serait-ce que leurs besoins de base…
Nous vous reproduisons la lettre ci-dessous, hélas en anglais seulement (si un lecteur anglophone veut en faire une traduction et nous la communiquer, elle pourra être d’autant mieux relayée) :
Dear Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer,
I am writing to you regarding the 66 chimpanzees at the Vilab II sanctuary in Liberia, and New York Blood Center’s (NYBC) cessation of support for the care of these individuals. I was recently made aware of the situation and understand that these chimpanzees would not have received food and water if not for the contributions of concerned individuals and the devotion of the chimpanzee caregivers. I find it completely shocking and unacceptable that NYBC would abandon these chimpanzees and discontinue support for even their basic needs. I strongly urge that you reconsider your decision, and urge you to play a significant role in planning, along with animal protection organizations and chimpanzee experts, for their long-term care.
Chimpanzees are an incredibly intelligent and social species which is critically endangered across their entire range in Africa. They live in large multi-male, multi-female intergenerational groups that have complex social structures. Only 100 years ago, we estimate that there were more than one million individuals across 24 countries in Africa. Today there may be as few as 150,000 to 200,000 individuals and they have completely disappeared from three countries. Research on chimpanzees that were taken from the wild (which always entails killing the mother) has contributed to the decline in their numbers.
We understand that among the coalition of organizations working to address this issue, some, like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), have committed emergency funding to address the immediate needs of these chimpanzees, but this cannot and should not be relied upon forever. Your company was responsible for acquiring these chimpanzees, some we understand even from the wild, and thus has a moral obligation to continue to care for them for the remainder of their lives.
The Jane Goodall Institute has provided reports on the conditions at Vilab since 2006, which included advice on improving the facilities there. To date, it seems that advice has largely been ignored. For example, it was the HSUS that provided funding to repair the water system when it was discovered that the caregivers had to give water to the chimpanzees by hand. A long term solution needs to be found and, again I am urging you to renew your support of these chimpanzees, and join those of us who are working to secure long term care and provide for their welfare in perpetuity.
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute &
UN Messenger of Peace
Vous pouvez lire un article paru dans le New York Times à propos de cette infamie (en anglais également).
Vous pouvez également rejoindre la communauté Facebook de l’Institut Jane Goodall France pour les assurer de votre soutien.