RPA High School science class tours Freedom for Great Apes facility
Mrs. Langland’s zoology class recently toured the Freedom for Great Apes (FGA) campus in Tumalo, a sanctuary that takes in chimpanzees from the entertainment industry and pet trade.
“Unfortunately, many chimpanzees are still used for the entertainment industry such as for commercials, movies, and photoshoots,” Langland said. “If you’ve seen a birthday card with a chimpanzee ‘smiling’, (which is actually a fear grimace and not a real smile) then you’ve seen an example of the entertainment industry’s unethical use of these animals.”
Students learned how chimpanzees born in captivity are taken from their mother immediately and often live a very isolated and traumatic life for the first two or three years of their life. After this point, they can become extremely dangerous, requiring a new place to live the rest of their years, which can be upwards of 40 more years.
FGA’s aim is to spread information that helps prevent captivity of chimpanzees and to provide comfortable housing for its residents: CJ, Emma, Herbie, and Jackson. Emma was very loud and exuberant about greeting us as we walked onto the sanctuary grounds and Jackson enjoyed blowing raspberries to get our attention so he could show off how tough he was, Langland said. Each chimpanzee had a unique “personality” and students enjoyed hearing about each one.