During the 1970s and 1980s, animal research
laboratories relied heavily on chimpanzees. After the AIDS epidemic,
there was an upsurge in demand for chimps.
swarmed around the African rainforest to trap baby chimps for Research.
Adult chimps are difficult to catch: they are highly intelligent, and
also seven times stronger than humans. The catchers wasted no time. They
used brutal methods to trap the young chimps. The mother–child
relationship is as intense for chimps as for humans. Infants cling to
their mother’s belly for three years, and ride piggyback for four more
years. Shooting their mothers was the only way to catch the infants.
of our Chimpanzees came from Sierra Leone and were intended for the
IMMUNO lab in Orth - then, located in Vienna. After 1997, due to a
company takeover, they were released from animal experimentation. Their
new owners (Baxter) conduct no experiments with primates. In 2002 the
chimps were transferred to a safari park. After the Safari Park went
bankrupt in 2004, the chimpanzees became in 2009 ‘Aiderbichler’! The
construction of their future home began.
On a 2,500 m2 big
territory two houses, ‘House A’ and ‘House B’ were under construction.
House A consists of seven enclosures and should become home for the less
ill-treated animals. House B consists of four enclosures and will be
home for the most traumatized Chimps.
In September 2011, the
gates to the great outdoors opened for the 26 ex-lab chimpanzees from
‘A-House’. In just a few months, the other 11 chimpanzees also went
outside along with 5 primates and Juppi, our cute kinkajou (‘honey
bear’). We came up with something really special for these chimpanzees:
Enclosures offering as much freedom as security. We constructed 10-metre
high arches that are covered with a steel safety net. We also created
climbing apparatus, water features and many more luxuries. The 11
chimpanzees from ‘B-House’ experienced more intense research experiments
than most of the others. That included no contact with humans or their
own kind – for decades.
To thank the chimpanzees for their huge
sacrifice, the Baxter pharmaceutical group continues to contribute major
donations for them – until today.
An exclusive Gut Aiderbichl Video produced by Tom Vacek.
Click here to download the official English booklet!