Protest held outside Emory University to free research chimp - CBS46 News

Protest held outside Emory University to free research chimp

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Protest at Emory University, Courtesy: Melody Paris Protest at Emory University, Courtesy: Melody Paris
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Georgia Animal Rights and Protection and others gathered Monday to demand that Wenka, a chimpanzee who has been held captive for more than 50 years inside Yerkes National Primate Research Center, be retired to a sanctuary.

The protest took place at the stone gate entrance of Emory University, home to the research center, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to FreeWenka.com, the primate was born in a lab in 1954 and is still being used for research and breeding.

"Anyone can understand, regardless of their feelings about animal research, that after spending 50 years in a research facility, Wenka should be retired. The least that Yerkes can do is allow her to spend whatever time she has left in peace – grass under her feet and sunshine on her back. And, we won't stop spreading her story until she gets that," said Melody Paris, president of GARP.

Yerkes National Primate Research Center released this statement:

"Wenka is an important member of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center animal colony. She has been a key participant in our National Institute on Aging-funded grant to compare how humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys age. With America's population living longer, it's increasingly important that we be able to make earlier diagnoses of aging-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive impairment, in order to more effectively treat these diseases.

"Yerkes' animal care, behavioral management and veterinary staff as well as the researchers who work with Wenka take expert care of her and are directly responsible for the longevity of her life. The knowledge we are gaining from Wenka and other animals at Yerkes is invaluable in helping humans live longer, more healthful lives. We will continue to build upon our solid foundation of scientific advancements and to provide expert care for all of the animals at our research center."

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