Thursday, February 14, 2013

What’s the difference between ape exploiters Rosaire and Rumbaugh?

What's the difference between Rosaire and Rumbaugh?

Pam Rosaire has trained chimpanzee Chance/Aiden to get cozy with humans, and exploits the chimp at party functions to raise money. 



Sue Savage-Rumbaugh has trained bonobo Teco to get cozy with humans, and exploits the bonobo at party functions to raise money.






The only difference I can see is that Rosaire puts the headband on Chance, while Rumbaugh prefers to wears the headband herself. 

**

Update, February 17: While I was focused on the exploitation aspect of this ongoing spectacle, bonobo experts have a different perspective. I got this message from one of them, and I decided to include it here to illustrate the extent of alarm throughout the ape care community. (I've removed personally-identifying information.)

"OH my God Dawn... Where in the hell did you get those photos of Teco and Sue? facebook?... Geezus. Teco with that kid and the guy eating ice cream? I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach. Herpes is the flavor of the day. Something really bad is gonna happen - like a kid gets their face bit up. I really can't comprehend this right now. They can't possibly be carrying a huge insurance policy when they are so strapped for cash... What's with the Pocohontas head band? And Greatful Dead T shirt? Sue looks terrible. Really unhealthy... This makes me so sad."

I try to keep news up-to-date at Great Apes Trust.

14 comments:

  1. This is almost an everyday occurrence at IPLS. Teco spends a lot of his time wrestling and playing with the Executive Director's daughter. When guests arrive at IPLS, SSR will bring Teco out of the safe enclosures to interact, and I have seen visitors holding and kissing him with no regard to transmission of pathogens...... either respiratory infections to the bonobos, or herpes to the humans. Agree with your commenter above..... something really bad is going to happen. At a minimum, a point is going to come when Teco is to big/strong to "play" with the Executive Director's daughter, and his heart will be broken when he returns to being a caged animal after having been treated like a member of the family. Hopefully, he doesn't hurt the human child before that happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this happens every single day then all of the bonobos there are being exposed to human viruses that can kill them. Treating these illnesses are very costly. I thought IPLS was hard up for cash. This is sickening.

      Delete
  2. The pathetic situation should never happen to begin with.Teco needs a bonobo mother to love and cherish him. He needs to learn the culture and be "programmed" by riding on her back for the first few years of his life. After that the mother son bond is life long and those males need the guidance of their bonobo mother to help make decisions well into adult hood. Teco does not have this early bonobo culture and already demonstrates behaviors that are indicative of social problems seen in hand reared apes. What is so selfish and self serving is that Sue is not getting any younger. Soon Teco will not be out and about and he will now not really fit in anywhere. Not in the bonobo world, not in the human world. No mother to guide him. Teco could be around another 30+ years as a social misfit. Intentionally creating a male with social ineptness is a very cruel thing to do just to satisfy one's need to hold a baby ape. By the looks of Teco he is way too big to be out there mingling at the party. At this size he could easily take the face off somebody.I thought that GAT was financially strapped. How can they afford the huge insurance policy needed for this type of injury? Or do the party attendees sign a waiver that they will not sue? It is still cold and flu season. Most ape facilities limit access to any visitors during these months. This exploitation is just awful. A serious accident is going to occur soon. I feel like we are all watching a train wreck in slow motion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would expect another mass exodus of any board members who have a shred of brain activity or careers to protect. Having one's name attached to this debacle is certainly a bad stain on the resume. I assume this practice of exploiting Teco was approved by a board decision? I agree with your commenter that the insurance policy for potential damages to the participants of the social event would be quite costly. Veterinary care for potential illness from human to bonobo also can break the bank. This seems to me too great an expense/risk and these social parties will not keep IPLS afloat. How many of these meet and greet parties are scheduled? Just think about the potential for a bite or disease transmission occuring over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to their event calendar, these little $20 per person get-togethers are twice a week. Additionally, their site says that "personal bonobo experiences" are specially scheduled and cost $3000 minimum -- but if SSR is bringing out Teco for the $20 hoi polloi, I can't imagine what the big dollar "experience" entails!

      Delete
    2. A sleep over with Kanzi cooking the burgers for the crowd. Duh.

      Delete
  4. The last time I was at the horror show that is IPLS, I watched Teco and the vet/Executive Director's daughter wrestle each other aggressively on the floor in the front/main room of the visitor center area, then saw Teco held/petted and kissed, face to face, by a female visitor. A male visitor attempted to pet Teco while he was being held by the woman, and Teco bit the man. Sue said "No biting" to Teco, and that was that. Teco is routinely exposed to human pathogens, and routinely given the opportunity to spread bonobo pathogens. The vet/Executive Director is completely over her head at IPLS...... she has no ability to care for these great apes, and serves only as a rubber stamp for Sue's delusional visions. I wish I could identify myself and not do business there, but real life intrudes, alas. I am just glad that people are paying attention to the horrors that are going on there.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's review: there is no science going on at IPLS. They are not a sanctuary, there is no learning, no major grants are ever coming, bonobos are morbidly obese, Teco is out mingling at parties and plays with the directors child, he has bitten recently, and is swapping germs with many humans. Herpes 1&2 is found in all bonobos along with many other viruses that can cause illness. The circus mentality of hand rearing baby apes is straight out of the 1950's and simply not done unless out of medical necessity. Even then..only for a very short time. The whole world is watching this train wreck.

      Delete
  5. I'm reading Zooland, the institution of captivity by Irus Braverman. It is part of a series on The Cultural Lives of the Law. Probably the best source of information of how zoos are run and what their purpose should be. The author is Associate Professor of Law of Geography at the University of Buffalo. She not only knows her subject, she write in a way that is a easy to understand. Anyone concerned with zoos and the treatment of animals should read this.

    Also it should be required reading for anyone with any connection to the former Great Ape Place. By the way, I've visited the place and was a member when it was first opened. What a disgrace it has become.

    I'm so glad to see you writing again. You fill a void and we need to hear your voice. Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Glad to be back!

      And glad to get your recommendation for Zooland. I just ordered it. As it happens, I heard a presentation on zoo population management tonight, from Brandie Smith (senior curator at National Zoo). She was fascinating but we didn't have enough time to go into depth... Hopefully Braverman's book will answer some of my questions about the breeding and zoo management of our captive great ape populations.

      Delete
  6. I am happy you are back. I am sickened by what I am hearing about Great Ape Trust. They are not any different from the rest of the people that use and abuse apes. The USDA needs to shut this place down and find a reputable sanctuary to care for their apes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If these bonobos were human, this lady would be in jail. Sue abuses just like the worst human moms. Those allegations sound like they came out of "A Child Called It"

    ReplyDelete
  8. I worked at GATI when it first opened and what has taken place over the past 12 years has been truly horrifying. The vision Ted Townsend had was wonderful. The error was focusing only on building a safe facility, and not considering a safe sustainable income resource. Thinking that Ted Townsend's pockets were and endless supply of money should never have been an option. As things have progressed an obligation to the safety and care of the apes has been a priority but apparently not to Dr. Sue. I remember when it first opened that other caregivers and scientists spoke of Dr. Sue's irratic and poor decision making. While she worked at I believe University of Georgia (going off memory here) that she would take Kanzi and other Bonobos off site unsecured in her car for car rides. It is quite obvious her mental state, poor decision making and idea of what is safe, secure and proper care has drasticallly declined. I have not seen any recent updates and I can only hope a federal or higher authority has stepped in to take possession of the apes to ensure their care and safety. What a shame the original Ted Townsend dream wasn't realized.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I worked at GATI when it first opened and what has taken place over the past 12 years has been truly horrifying. The vision Ted Townsend had was wonderful. The error was focusing only on building a safe facility, and not considering a safe sustainable income resource. Thinking that Ted Townsend's pockets were and endless supply of money should never have been an option. As things have progressed an obligation to the safety and care of the apes has been a priority but apparently not to Dr. Sue. I remember when it first opened that other caregivers and scientists spoke of Dr. Sue's irratic and poor decision making. While she worked at I believe University of Georgia (going off memory here) that she would take Kanzi and other Bonobos off site unsecured in her car for car rides. It is quite obvious her mental state, poor decision making and idea of what is safe, secure and proper care has drasticallly declined. I have not seen any recent updates and I can only hope a federal or higher authority has stepped in to take possession of the apes to ensure their care and safety. What a shame the original Ted Townsend dream wasn't realized.

    ReplyDelete