Whether he is truly the second coming of Saint Francis Assisi or just trying to earn brownie points for those decades of the “Price is Right” that we had to sit through, Bob Barker is still saving animals around the world. What is he up to now? He saved the lives of some Texas chimps by financing their permanent stay at a chimp rescue center.
A local facility had gone bankrupt, leaving behind five chimpanzees. The chimps desperately needed a permanent place to live, one that wasn’t a concrete jail or a different facility. Up to the plate steps Bob Barker, who learned of the chimp’s dilemma and donated $230,000 to Chimp Haven to offer them the perfect home.
“These chimpanzees have spent their entire lives on concrete in cages,” said Barker. “They will now be able to climb and swing and hoot through the forest-like surroundings of Chimp Haven. They are curious and smart and are expected to adapt well to their new surroundings.”
Chimp Haven is a 200-acre forest-like area, expansive enough to allow the clever primates to live free in a natural wilderness, with little to no human contact. The goal of the organization is to educate people on the importance of conserving and protecting the chimpanzee population.
Dr. Linda Brent, the President of Chimp Haven, stated, “I hope Mr. Barker’s generous gesture will inspire others to follow his example so that we can complete this project and bring more chimpanzees to Chimp Haven.”
The story of these five new rescues is included on its website, and summarized here:
On August 9th, 2011, Chimp Haven accepted five new chimps into the family. This particular group had been through a life of biomedical research and was recently retired, with each being over the age of 40. The sole male of the five is named Jerry, and he is 43 years old with a touch of arthritis. However, upon being introduced to the new facility, he promptly climbed onto every structure with no trouble. The oldest is Karen, at 53, and she enjoys nesting with soft bedding items. On her first night, she folded a pink blanket and placed it under her head to use as a pillow.
At 51, Ladybird enjoys being in high places, especially the many hammocks at Chimp Haven. Jerry seems to be a bit enamored with her. Terry, 45, has become a little rotund, loves snacks, and took an immediate liking to a stuffed yellow Lorax. At 47 years of age, Penny looks younger than she is and is inquisitive and curious. She investigates everything immediately and loves the attention she is getting from our caregivers. The latest arrivals are welcomed into our hearts and lives.