Yesterday we talked about how dramatically life changed for all our chimpanzees as soon as Save the Chimps came into their lives. Today, we want to celebrate the life of one of those chimps so you can see just for yourself how impactful your investment has been in the lives of our resident chimpanzees.
When Dr. Noon met chimpanzee Whoopi back in 2002, she wasn’t sure Whoopi would be able to recover from her time in the laboratory. Whoopi rocked back and forth, she bit her arm repeatedly, in fact she had multiple self-inflicted wounds all over her body that she would continually pick at. Anytime Dr. Noon would introduce Whoopi to a new chimpanzee Whoopi would scream non-stop, for hours. It took years of patience, of slowly winning back Whoopi’s trust, and years of good, quality care.
Now, seventeen years later life couldn’t be more different for Whoopi. She lives happily at Bobby’s Island – surrounded by a loving family. She only shows agitation around feeding times and so her caregivers take extra care when passing out the food. Whoopi is often described as one of the smartest chimps at STC, she can be asked to go and retrieve something and hands it right over to her caregivers. Sweet and friendly, she often is the first to greet a family member. She loves sunbathing and being outside on the patio. Because of her fondness for food, she is also one of our larger females. Noticing her girth, one of her caregivers began an exercise program with her last year. Her trainer would demonstrate the movements such as: squatting up and down along with moving from one side of the room to the other side. Whoopi accepted the challenge and trained 15 minutes at a time, three to four days a week. The results were remarkable: where at first Whoopi would struggle to pull herself up and down for the squat, she now pops up quickly! Whoopi has not only slimmed down, but her mobility has dramatically improved. “She is excited to get a good workout in and show off her moves,” added caregiver Christine Ponticelli. As a result, Whoopi has more confidence in herself – moving around more than she has in the past. We are so proud of how far she has come and continues to go — thanks to your ongoing support!
There are so many ways you can help, you can share Whoopi’s story with your friends by forwarding this email. You can pledge your support in celebration of World Chimpanzee Day on July 14th (and each pledge will be matched). You can share Whoopi’s story on Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn (because she’s so cute!). Or you can give a gift during our Board Match Challenge.
If you make a gift now, you can double the impact of yourgift! Our Board of Directors have pledged $210,000 in a Board Match Challenge from now until May 15th — our largest to date! And believe me those funds are urgently needed.
Like Whoopi, 17% of our chimp population is elderly, and extra vulnerable — in need of specialized medical and dietary care. Several of our residents have PTSD and behavioral challenges like Whoopi, due to their past treatment, and are in need of sensitive and professional care plans to help them heal. Your gift will enable us to take every precaution and provide excellent care in this challenging time.
In fact, today your gift will be matched dollar for dollar to make double the difference for the chimpanzees in our care:
- $15 will be doubled to be worth $30
- $30 will be doubled to be worth $60
- If you can donate an extra generous $100 it will be matched and doubled to $200
- Any amount you give today can be doubled, for twice the support at a critical time.
- And, if you can’t give now, we understand, it’s a difficult time for so many, but you can still participate by signing a pledge for World Chimpanzee Day (we won’t collect any gift information until July 14th
Help us continue to protect our resident chimpanzees by giving today. Only gifts and pledges made by May 15th will be matched, you can make a real difference in the lives of our residents, won’t you please give now?
Dr. Andrew Halloran
P.S. Your support is critical right now, you have a limited-time chance to have your gift doubled. Please be extra-generous if you can!