Advocating for True Sanctuary for Hercules and Leo

A close-up photograph of chimpanzee Hercules at Project Chimps. Credit: Crystal Alba

A close-up photograph of chimpanzee Hercules at Project Chimps. Credit: Crystal Alba

By Courtney Fern on March 22, 2021

Today is the first day of our week of action in recognition of the suffering our clients have endured as a result of their imprisonment and with the hope they will soon be able to live freely and with peace and dignity.

A close-up photograph of chimpanzee Leo at Project Chimps. Credit: Crystal Alba

A close-up photograph of chimpanzee Leo at Project Chimps. Credit: Crystal Alba

Yesterday, March 21st, was the third anniversary of Hercules and Leo’s transfer from the New Iberia Research Center to Project Chimps. Last year, whistleblowers brought to light well-documented information that showed Project Chimps and the Humane Society of the United States (Project Chimps’ primary funder) were not fulfilling their commitment to provide true sanctuary to Project Chimps’ chimpanzee residents, including the NhRP’s clients Hercules and Leo. The NhRP called on Project Chimps and HSUS to take whatever steps and devote whatever resources are necessary to immediately provide Hercules and Leo with daily access to an outdoor habitat. To our knowledge, Hercules and Leo still spend a majority of their time confined to their housing structure.

Actions of the Day:

  • Email Kitty Block, President and CEO of HSUS, and ask that Hercules and Leo are immediately provided with daily access to the outdoor habitat at Project Chimps. Kitty Block can be reached at kblock@humanesociety.org. A sample email: Dear Ms. Block, I am writing out of deep concern for Hercules and Leo, two chimpanzee residents of Project Chimps. Hercules and Leo suffered for years in a basement laboratory at Stony Brook University where they were subjected to invasive locomotion studies. Three years ago, Hercules and Leo were transferred to Project Chimps, which, at the time, claimed that they would spend the remainder of their lives at the sanctuary napping, foraging, and climbing pine trees. However, three years since their arrival at Project Chimps, their lives resemble nothing of what was promised. Hercules and Leo are confined to an indoor housing structure and an enclosed porch for all but a few hours a week. Outdoor access is integral to Hercules and Leo’s ability to exercise their autonomy and their physical and psychological health. Your organization took on the responsibility to provide lifetime care to Hercules and Leo and it is HSUS’ duty to provide them with true sanctuary, which includes the freedom to choose how to spend their days. I am deeply troubled that an organization with as ample resources as HSUS has not allocated funds to either expand the existing habitat at Project Chimps or build out a new one. Please take all steps necessary to immediately provide Hercules and Leo with daily access to an outdoor habitat. Sincerely,
    [Your name]
  • Tweet at HSUS and Project Chimps asking that they do whatever necessary to provide Hercules and Leo with daily access to the outdoor habitat. A sample tweet is: “The @HumaneSociety and @ProjectChimps have deprived Hercules and Leo of true sanctuary for the past 3 years, confining them to housing structures for all but a few hours every week. This is unacceptable. Please immediately provide them with daily access to the outdoor habitat.” If you do not have Twitter or prefer to advocate on another social media platform, you can still help by sharing this blog post.

Thank you! Courtney Fern is the NhRP’s Director of Government Relations and Campaigns.

Subscribe to our email list to receive updates and learn about events and volunteer opportunities in your area.Nonhuman Rights Project

We are the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals.

© 2021 Nonhuman Rights Project, all rights reserved.

https://www.nonhumanrights.org/blog/advocating-for-true-sanctuary-for-hercules-and-leo/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.