Great Ape Trust
In February 2013, the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary stepped over the line in exposing baby Teco to human germs.Savage-Rumbaugh joins chimp exploiters Pam Rosaire and Mike Dunne as ape entertainment providers.
The failure of the Great Ape Trust / Bonobo Hope / Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary is best illustrated by “then” and “now” photos of the morbidly obese Kanzi.
Bonobo fans may be confused about this organization. At various points in their fundraising stunts, this organization has been known as the Great Ape Trust. It also does business as Bonobo Hope. Lately, it calls itself the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary — which is at least 50 percent correct since it is in Iowa and and it does have primates. Learning and sanctuary? Not so much. They also started up a Panbanisha.org, to leverage the tragic death of one of their bonobos into yet another fundraising scheme.
The latest crisis in the ongoing 30+ year saga with the research bonobos started out of the public eye, in mid-December, 2011. Because of a myriad of concerns and objections about Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, employees resigned from Great Ape Trust, en masse. Before it was all over, eight caregivers, one accountant, three public safety officers, one public relations director, and two directors ‒ plus all interns ‒ walked out.
While the board and Savage-Rumbaugh caromed from one preposterous publicity ploy to the next, rumors started surfacing about what was really happening at the Great Ape Trust. I blogged about the stuff I learned, and encouraged anyone who contacted me to “come out.” But they had careers in front of them and had seen Savage-Rumbaugh and her acolytes retaliate against people who disagreed with her. (I can attest to that!) They needed time to talk things out.
On September 9, 2012, the “Bonobo 12” wrote to the Great Ape Trust Board of Directors with their concerns. On September 10, after getting the brushoff from the board, they went public.
Several ape professionals attempted to reach out to board members and Savage-Rumbaugh, to help them find a way out of the morass, apparently with little success. Sometime after September 26, two prestigious board members — Ed Wasserman and Paul Lasley — reportedly resigned from the board.
The Great Ape Trust board of directors met on October 4.
People who want to see the bonobos in a safe and nurturing environment are trying to stay on top of developments at Bonobo Hope (aka all the other names). I will try to keep this post updated with the latest news. If you know of additional information on the Web, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
More than a month after the board of directors were to decide on the fate of the bonobos, the board members have evidently failed to act. While they twiddled their fingers, the bonobos have started to die — exactly what the Bonobo 12 feared and warned the board about. Panbanisha died in the early morning of November 7, according to “suspended” director Savage-Rumbaugh.
Update Nov 17, 2012: The board’s so-called investigation rejected all concerns of the Bonobo 12. If one had a cynical view of it, one might be tempted to imagine that they collected the statements from all the former caregivers as a way to find out the evidence against Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, and never had any intention of acting.
Update Feb 16, 2013: In their latest attempt at financial solvency, they changed their focus to public exhibition, after receiving word from USDA inspector Heather Cole that she approved it on November 13. After their grant application to an Iowa racetrack and casino was rejected (Savage-Rumbaugh wants to turn the joint into an artist colony), the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary opened their doors to the public. Parading baby Teco into the group of children and adults, Savage-Rumbaugh officially joined the long and infamous line of ape entertainment providers. Former IPLS employee Daniel Musgrave saved these Facebook photos from the facility’s event.
From the Bonobo 12 (former caregivers, researchers, and colleagues who are speaking up about conditions at the facility)
Information from Great Ape Trust / Bonobo Hope
IRS Form 990, 2011, Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary dba Great Ape Trust (for comparisons with 2010 and 2009 990s, see Bonobo Hope needs vision…)
Blog posts and articles by others
Thoughts on Why Good Keepers are Heroic People (especially with what’s going on at Bonobo Hope), blog post by Andrew Halloran (author of Song of the Apes), September 16, 2012
Great Ape Trust abuse allegations are detailed, by Perry Beeman, Des Moines Register, September 14, 2012
Iowa Bonobo Sanctuary Mired in Controversy, by Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Insider, September 18, 2012
Behind the Curtain, by Beth Dalbey, West Des Moines Patch, September 21, 2012
Troubled ape facility reinstates controversial researcher, by Kate Wong, Scientific American, November 21, 2012
Savage-Rumbaugh returns to ape sanctuary, by Perry Beeman, Des Moines Register, November 20, 2012
Related blog posts on Chimp Trainer’s Daughter
Excuse my bitchiness, but I’ve just gotta say…, March 31, 2012
Are apes escapes and bites “common” at Great Ape Trust? April 14, 2012
Happy Father’s Day? Maybe not, June 13, 2012
“We believe… there is an immediate danger to apes’ health and lives,” September 10, 2012
Bonobo Hope’s Savage-Rumbaugh placed on administrative leave, September 11, 2012
Great Ape Trust bonobos need sunshine, September 13, 2012
The Bonobo 12 pull back the curtain at Great Ape Trust, September 14, 2012
It’s the bonobos, stupid!, September 18, 2012
Give these bonobos a chance!, September 25, 2012
A young woman sets an example for the directors of Great Ape Trust Bonobo Hope, September 29, 2012
Key Out Now, October 5, 2012
Crisis deepens at Great Ape Trust, October 21, 2012
Panbanisha is dead, November 7, 2012
Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary (aka Bonobo Hope aka Great Ape Trust) to publicly exhibit bonobo Kanzi and others, November 17, 2012
Former employees retain lawyer, call for public disclosure, November 21, 2012
Spanish urban planner to lead development of bonobo artists colony at Iowa’s Great Ape Trust, November 25, 2012
IPLS goes ape — and you can too!, February 3, 2013
What’s the difference between ape exploiters Rosaire and Rumbaugh?, February 14, 2013
– See more at: http://chimptrainersdaughter.blogspot.com/p/the-latest-crisis-in-ongoing30-year.html