In the latest episode of Down to Earth: The Extinction Crisis, NBC 7’s Dagmar Midcap documents the life and relocation of six chimpanzees dubbed, “The Lucky 6.”
In late June, Lucky, Cy, Dora, Gordo, Rayne and Terry – the “Lucky 6” – were moved from their longtime home at the Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar, CA (East of Los Angeles) to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Washington state. The moving effort spanned over 30 hours of continuous effort, Dagmar and NBC 7 cameras followed the relocation from start to finish.
Wildlife Waystation was once home to a wide variety of species, including bears, tigers, lions, monkeys, apes, and chimpanzees, many of the chimpanzees were rescued from biomedical testing laboratories. However, after nearly 45 years of caring for nearly 77,000 animals, the Wildlife Waystation was forced to shut its doors in 2019 leaving nearly 500 animals in desperate need of new homes, including 42 chimpanzees from various backgrounds including, biomedical testing.
Finding new homes for any chimpanzee is not easy, they are extremely difficult to house. It’s also remarkably expensive to care for a chimpanzee and there are only three accredited chimpanzee sanctuaries in the United States: The Center for Great apes in Florida, Chimp Haven in Louisiana, and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest who made room for our Lucky 6.
Animal advocates such as N.A.P.S.A worked day and night to raise the money to facilitate the relocation of “The Lucky 6.”
Actually, moving the chimpanzees was not easy either, it was a complicated process that involved many different organizations, which began on a Friday morning, and did not end until the chimpanzees arrived Saturday evening at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, where they will live out the rest of their lives on 90 acres of farm and forested land.
Twenty-six chimpanzees still remain at the Wildlife Waystation, as advocates work to raise the money to move them to other accredited sanctuaries.
There were many people and organizations responsible for helping “The Lucky 6” including the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Project Chimps, North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, and the Jane Goodall Institute.
These organizations are great resources if you’re interested in helping chimpanzees find safe homes, helping chimpanzees in any way, or just learning more about chimpanzees.
To view more stories like this one, visit Down to Earth with Dagmar