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September 8th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Lab chimps released after 30 years in cages

Animal rights activist and ‘True Blood’ star Kristin Bauer discusses the release of a group of chimpanzees who have spent the last 30 years in cages at a medical testing facility. The chimps who were injected with the HIV virus will live the remainder of their lives in an Austrian Sanctuary with freedom to be outside.

Bauer is a long time animal rights activist and supports banning all medical experimentation on chimpanzees.

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soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Karen Purdom

    ....We share 98.7% of the same DNA When they say cousins to us it's true, not just a figure of speech.
    Too bad the reporter didn't feel the need to report the facts instead of underestimating the exact amount.

    September 9, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  2. Christina Thompson Wolfeagle

    My whole being just died when the chimpanzee hugged its friend as they left the building. Thank you Kristin so much for all you do for all the animals.

    September 9, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  3. Daniel Holt

    While I find using animals for Lab tests, trying to create a better life for Humanity, I wish we would find a better way. My Grandfather used to tell me you can't look at it that way, but when I look in these animals eyes a Feel empathy for them. I know how Hypocritical that sounds when I eat meat but the difference is do we really know what pain these animal feel.

    September 9, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  4. Joanne Heslop

    ITo spend all that time in cages and to be able to see one another but not touch one another is just so cruel, not to mention the unspeakable cruelty these poor animals had to endure at the hands of humans... makes me weep...

    September 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  5. myram

    I think that its a terrible thing that a animal that is more human than any should have to go through such torture in the name of mankind personally i would not want that on my consious

    September 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  6. LabRat

    So many people oppose animal research and it just doesn't make sense. What if you had HIV or any other disease that has not yet been cured? Would you sign up for clinical trials for new treatments without knowing how the drug affects mice and non-human primates? What if your child was sick? Would you rather a new drug be tested and proved safe for use in chimps, have your child participate in a clinical trial of an untested drug, or let your kid die? The only other option is to completely rely on tissue culture. Yes, you can grow human cells in a petrie dish and test drugs on these cells but that has plenty of drawbacks. Single cells don't behave the way a whole organism behaves.

    Please put it in perspective. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and children die waiting for cures for various diseases. If we get rid of animal research we will never find cures that will work for humans.

    Also, to any and all of you animal rights activists who eat meat: you are hypocrites!

    September 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Crisette Ocampo

    This kind of cruelty exists everywhere in the world, and the fact of the matter is, not many people do anything to change that. Kristin Bauer, however, is one example of many, of hope that there are people in the world fighting for things worth fighting for. I applaud her and everyone else who put their efforts into a good cause every singly day. Thanks to them, I have glimmers of hope for the future of our truly traumatic world.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  8. the Wash

    It's wonderful that they are finally getting released, but do they have the knowledge to find their own food after having been fed in cages for so long? I know it's instinct and they share 99% of human DNA, but do they know how to survive in the wild?

    September 27, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  9. Philip

    Eating meat while decrying other animal abuse is not hypocrisy. It's called "making an effort". It seems that many of you would rather do nothing so that you can be consistent, than to try a little and maybe make a difference. I eat no meat, and I support animal rights, so does wearing leather shoes make me a worse person because now I'm a hypocrite? If so, then I'd rather be a hypocrite than to never take any stand just so I can be totally consistent in my apathy.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  10. Melissa

    I find it interesting all these animal right activists speak so loudly against this kind of treatment of animals; yet I'm sure if one of them or their family members was stricken w/ cancer or any other disease, they would not refuse modern medical treatment that would not be available had it not been for the testing of such treatments on animals.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  11. Philip

    We gained a lot of medical knowledge from the torture of innocent people by Nazi scientists/doctors/sadists. Should we throw away that knowledge? No. Should we ever use those research methods again? No. I don't know any animal rights advocates who would turn away existing medical treatment, but that doesn't mean they approve of how the treatments were developed. I, for one, don't support advances in human medicine at the cost of human character. Besides, if we had run clinical trials of chocolate on dogs, then chocolate would have never gone to market since it makes dogs sick. The research is largely useless. It continues not because it helps anybody, but because there is a huge pool of grant money to tap into by running experiments, no matter how fruitless they are.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  12. AMC

    It is so bitter sweet. I am so happy to see them free, but it also upsets me to know that they were enslaved and experiemented on for 30 years! 30 YEARS! That is just sadistic and wrong. Human shame.

    September 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  13. Julie Nora

    To the totally ignorant individuals who have bad mouthed animal rights activists:
    The unreasonable and horrific cruelty involved in animal testing is more than enough reason for animal rights activists to feel the way they do. That inhumane cruelty,coupled with the fact that other animals have completely different physiological make ups than us-and will almost certainly react differently than people would to these drugs being tested-make our argument even more logical and valid.
    Chimpanzees that have been(or are being) tested on were very likely used in entertainment(movies,commercials,etc.) prior to ending up in a laboratory cage.
    When any sort of primate is born,the mother/baby bond is unbelievably strong. In the wild,monkey mamas maintain skin to skin contact with there baby for up to 4 years. This beautiful bond is essential to the baby primate's mental,emotional,and even physical developement.
    People who train monkeys to be used in entertainment are very aware of a chimpanzee's physical power.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  14. Julie Nora

    Any of these trainer's will say that the ONLY way to train an animal powerful enough to kill a man(even in it's youth) is to break the mother/baby bond within 4 months of it's birth.
    It is extremely common to see baby monkeys in the filthy cages ALL by themselves,rocking back&forth&back&forth again and again. This is the result of the severe trauma of being torn from it's mama,along with severe physical abuse that immediately follows.
    Monkeys are kept in filthy cages,surrounded by rotten food&flies while enduring on going physical abuse. When a chimpanzee "grins" at the camara in a commercial(for example),it's not fun or cute. That "grin" is,in fact,a fear grimace–the chimp is being threatened w/abuse by an off-camara trainer. What appears to be a smile on a chimp or orangutan,is not!!
    When monkeys become too old to be used in entertainment,they are sold to labs–where they are forced to suffer continuous nightmares.
    If drugs are tested,they should be tested on PEOPLE!!!! Leave the monkeys alone!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  15. Peach

    Eating meat is not the same as animal testing in the same way that war is not the same as torture. They are all unfortunate but killing an animal quickly for food is not the same as torturing it for months or years.

    September 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  16. Mick

    I am not a huge animals rights activist, but being as high up as chimps are on the encephalization quotient, this is torture.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  17. kitkat

    understand one thing-aside from cruel confinement issues- chimps cannot get HIV/Aids even though they are injected/infected with it. They have been instrumental in the research that may one day save someone you know from getting a horrible death sentence disease.

    October 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  18. Dr. Zaius

    Humans are a menace.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  19. Hambone

    I can't wait until it is discovered that plants emit an inaudible scream of pain when they are cut... and you activists are reduced to eating some synthetic protein, shed skin flakes and roadkill...

    October 4, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  20. BL

    Perform your tests on Congress, leave the chimps alone.

    October 6, 2011 at 8:19 am |

    I must also say that these medical testing facility labs are also using dogs and cats for this so call medical testing which must stop and stop now.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  22. Darcy

    Mr LabRat above missed the whole point. I am a surgical nurse and I married into a family of researchers and physicians, and I can tell you there are other ways. The people above are not hypocrties becaus they eat meat. There are new and humane ways to slaughter animals intended for consumption. (he might want to read up on that too.) The key word is humane! I feel this biggest crime is isolating these poor beautiful creatures! Imagine a humane being put into isloation like that. I feel all animals are too smart to tolearte that treament and not suffer from it. Truley cruel treatment. And yes not an accurate experiment! We act differently under stress. We become sicker. These animals did not have a chance to fight and become well and show positive results! Now maybe they do.

    November 11, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  23. Jack

    Why didn't they just let them live in that big open space for 30 years while doing the testing?

    April 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  24. Nat

    I still think that animal testing for new drugs /treatment for cancer and all other disease should be performed on....Child Killers!!!!! THEY ARE the ones who are fed and sheltered after killing our children NOT the CHIMPS!!! and those prisoners ARE HUMANS (well, physically I mean)
    They would be perfect for drugs testing for finding a cure to un curable diseases ....that's my opinion and I will stick to it no matter what!

    April 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  25. Karen

    Thank God for Kristin Bauer! That is the saddest thing I have ever seen....thirty (30) years locked up.

    April 29, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  26. Kim

    There simply has to be a better way..... no creature should have to go through that.

    April 29, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  27. lolly

    As a patient in remission from cancer I am forever in the debt of animals like these who have sacrificed their lives to help science better understand the nature of the disease. Having said this, I hate that it is a necessary evil to use these beautiful animals for this purpose. It gives me joy AND makes me deeply sad to see these animals who are chosen precisely because of how similar they are to us humans see the outside of a science lab for the first time in 30 years. I also have to wonder, considering all these animals sacrifice for us as laboratory test subjects, couldn't they provide something a little closer to nature for these unfortunate cousins of ours?

    April 29, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  28. Beth

    We are not better than them. Why should they die so we may live?

    April 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  29. Linda

    Testing substances on animals is not a "necessary evil". It is a useless and antiquated system, and there are better alternatives, but they cost money. Medical research has become an industry involving billions of dollars, and animals are cheap. If you have ever seen an animal stuffed into a plastic tube, screaming in fear, in order to perform some procedure on it, you will never forget it. Keep in mind that every drug or medical device involved in a recall or lawsuit was tested on animals.

    April 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  30. bobtraw

    Anyone want to explain why this story was bumped after two years?

    April 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
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    Job well done Kristin Bauer. I'm glad to see someone is doing something about this! Could you imagine being locked up and tested on
    for 30 years.

    January 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
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