Please Help CHCI!
As an intern at CHCI (Chimpanzee Human Communication Institute) I need your help! Central Washington University is home to a unique family of chimpanzees. Tatu and Loulis are the only surviving members of a family of chimpanzees that were the first ever of any primates to acquire American Sign Language. They are known throughout the world in many different fields.
Chimpanzees are highly social creatures, just like humans, and they need a lot of social enrichment. While we humans at CHCI try as to give as much socially to the chimpanzees as possible, it’s not the same as having chimpanzee friends. The humans at CHCI are never in the same caged in area as a chimpanzee. That is to protect both humans and chimpanzees. Imagine living in a cage (while large) you’re whole life and most of your friends are always on the other side of the bars. Sad right? So Tatu and Loulis need more chimpanzee friends.
President Gaudino and CWU are deciding whether or not they will a) discontinue CHCI at CWU OR b) fund the renovations that would allow more chimpanzees to be brought in and added to Tatu and Loulis’ family. If CWU chooses to faze out CHCI, Tatu and Loulis would have to be moved to a new sanctuary. This would be extremely stressful because they have lived at CHCI here in Ellensburg for over 20 years. They also use sign language to communicate with both humans and each other. So, moving to a new sanctuary where they may not be able to sign with many other chimpanzees will also be extremely frustrating for them. They are also getting older and this stress could physically have a negative impact on them. That would also mean leaving behind all of their friends, many of whom they have known for years.
So what am I asking of you? To contact President Gaudino in support of CHCI. Email him or write him a letter. (Info at the bottom.) Tell him that it is important that they fund the renovations necessary for Tatu and Loulis to be able to stay where they are as well as add more chimpanzees to their family.
Check out the CHCI website or the CHCI blog for more info about this unique family of chimpanzees and to also learn about the chimpanzees (both living and deceased.)
These chimpanzees are my friends and I can’t imagine them having to go through the stress of moving to a new facility. It is NOT in the best interest of the chimpanzees. The university chose to have CHCI here and if they don’t continue to support them it will be a detriment to their integrity and reputation in the field of primatology.
Email President Gaudino @ email@example.com
Write to President Gaudino:
Central Washington University
400 E University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926