Ponso the chimp has been living on a deserted island off the Ivory coast for more than thirty years. With no source of food or water, and no companions on the island, it’s a hard life for him indeed. But nothing compares to Ponso’s past.
For years, Ponso was used in painful animal testing conducted by the New York Blood Center doing hepatitis research. Along with many other chimps who had been stolen from the wild, he was subjected to countless injections and biopsies, and was living in a state of fear.
The NYBC finished their tests and simply abandoned the chimps. Half were dead within a year, most of the rest were relocated. Only Ponso, his mate, and their children remained on the island. Ponso’s mate and children all died within a few days of one another in 2013. Ponso helped bury them, throwing dirt over their bodies.
One man, a villager named Germain, made it his purpose to keep Ponso alive. For years he has been bringing bananas and bread to the island, and helping to ensure that the chimp gets the veterinary care he needs.
While Germain’s efforts have helped keep Ponso alive, the whole situation casts strong light on the mistreatment of animals by testing centers. It’s a sad fact that animal testing occurs to this day. Brave and compassionate souls like Germain certainly help make the world a more humane place to be.
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