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The Physicians Committee



Project Nim Star Speaks at PCRM Chimpanzee Panel Discussion

Chimp Nim used in experimentProject Nim is a documentary members of Congress should see as they weigh the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. Lawmakers had the opportunity to see this heartbreaking film about chimpanzee experimentation last month when PCRM hosted the Washington, D.C., premiere.

Project Nim charts the life of Nim Chimpsky. He was the subject of an experiment that aimed to prove that chimpanzees could learn to communicate with sign language if raised and nurtured like a human child. The experiment failed, and Nim was sold into medical research.

Following the film’s D.C. premiere, PCRM director of public and government affairs Elizabeth Kucinch moderated a panel discussion featuring Bob Ingersoll, who appeared in Project Nim, and Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H.

Ingersoll is an evolutionary biologist who worked at the Institute for Primate Studies where he met and befriended Nim. Last month, Ingersoll wrote to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., about Project Nim and the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

“I support this bill because I’ve seen firsthand how much these extremely intelligent animals can suffer in the laboratory,” wrote Ingersoll. “Nim and his group did not deserve to be used and abused as an experimental research subject, and neither do the hundreds of other chimpanzees currently in laboratory cages in the United States.”

Dr. Ferdowsian recently published a study funded by the Arcus Foundation that uncovers the mental anguish experienced by chimpanzees living in sanctuaries who have histories of laboratory experimentation, becoming orphaned, or other traumatic experiences.

Project Nim and Dr. Ferdowsian’s study both support the need for the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which encourages the United States to join nearly every other nation in the world and end invasive experiments on chimpanzees.

To learn more about the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, visit PCRM.org/GAPA.



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PCRM Online, August 2011

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