We are trying to save chimpanzees from a fate worse than death.  The attached poem written by Diane McKeller, a volunteer at the Fauna Foundation, Carignan, Quebec, Canada, tells a story of a chimpanzee who suffered a fate where his death probably gave him blessed relief to all that he and suffered during his fourteen years.

When I was a baby Chimpanzee,

They murdered my mother to capture me.

I witnessed the terror upon her face

As they tore me from her arms and last embrace.

They think they know what's best for me,

I'm now in diapers in a nursery.

In hopes of helping me overcome my fright

They rock me and bottle feed me every night.

But today my fears were again renewed

When they all held me down to be tattooed.

The surprise of my life was on my sixth birthday

When from my new friends I was taken away.

You won't believe the things they've done.

I'm in a dark world ... no moon, no sun.

Each day brings some new pain, new fear:

A biopsy there, a surgery here.

My cage is so small and up in the air.

I'm scared.  I'm stressed.  I'm losing my hair.

My forehead and lips were pierced with a dart.

Sometimes I wish they'd have aimed at my heart.

My entire body is covered in scars;

I'm committed to spending my life behind bars.

I'm fed the bare minimum, I've nothing to spare.

I'm lonely, I'm sad . . . on the verge of despair!

I can never foresee and end in sight

To this dreadful life.  I'm losing the fight.

I heard that my brother's in a circus somewhere

With elephants and tigers and the dancing brown bears.

I hope that he's healthy and doing O.K.

I wonder how he likes getting dressed every day.

As for my sister, she's a Hollywood star!

She's in T. V. commercials, smoking cigars.

I wish we could all be together again,

Though I'll never know the where or the when.

When you buy your ticket for the circus this year:

Remember the suffering that landed me here.

When you watch us sometimes on T.V. or movies,

While you wait for the cure to the latest disease,

Don't forget how my mother was taken away

And that man was responsible for that horrible day.

They say that my DNA is the closest to man.

Is being a guinea pig part of his plan?

I never was meant to spend my life in a cage,

Tell the world that you care and show your outrage!

I'm asking mankind to bear my sad plea

In hopes that one day I may be set free.

. . . But, his plea was in vain.

Copyright 1999 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.