Abandoned on the Ivory Coast with no source of food or water, Ponso is the last surviving member of his colony. Nineteen other chimpanzees from his group died of disease or starvation after the New York Blood Center used the colony for bio medical research and then deserted them according to SOS Ponso.
The NYBC left the chimps on an island just off the Ivory Coast and initially brought regular food supplies because the islands have no natural food source for the chimpanzees. One day, they just stopped coming, according to The Dodo.
Thanks to the help of a local farmer, Germain, Ponso has survived with little access to food or water. The villager, who lives on a limited income, brings bread and bananas to Ponzo as seen in the video below, according to The Dodo.
The diet of bananas and bread is not enough to provide a healthy diet for Ponso which is why many have taken to social media to raise awareness for his cause. One group claims that Ponso and his colony earned more than $400 million dollars for the New York Blood Center.
“Ponso is a New York Blood Center chimp and they are accountable for his care. He was acquired by NYBC and used in research in which they made an estimated $400 million. It’s abhorrent that an organization with hundreds of millions of dollars … has left Ponso and the Liberia chimps to die,” according to New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing.
The Dodo reported that as research chimps, Ponso and his companions underwent numerous experiments including multiple liver biopsies, and many of the chimpanzees were left injured following years of experiments.
SOS PONSO is looking for donations to help provide more food and nutrition for Ponso, according to their Facebook page.
n addition to Ponso and his 19 companions, the NYBC left 66 more research chimpanzees without support after they withdrew funding from their sanctuary in Liberia.
“NYBC ended all research on non-human primates more than 10 years ago. NYBC never owned the animals, the land or the facilities. Nevertheless, after ending our research, NYBC voluntarily supported the sanctuary for more than seven years, even though we had no obligation to do so.”
The NYBC said they attempted to find another solution for their care but were unable to do so. The NYBC affirmed their mission to “save lives here in the United States,” and that their responsibility is to their blood donors, according to the NYBC.
The Humane Society has taken over support of the Chimps, but this support does not include Ponso, according to the New York Times.