The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced June 12 in a press conference with renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall that captive chimpanzees will be listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, providing an additional level of protection to hundreds of chimpanzees still held in U.S. laboratories.
But even in the face of this groundbreaking victory for animal protection, there are still New Mexican chimps like Rosie and Elijah held at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the lab whose former director said chimps were equal to “books in the library.” Some of these chimps with especially horrifying research histories, like Ken, have died waiting in this lab. Despite the huge changes our federal government has made, more must be done.
New Mexicans have a unique history with chimpanzees.
In the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force brought infant chimpanzees here from West Africa for Project Mercury, part of our race to space.