In Fort Pierce, bringing the doctor to the chimps

Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 10:51am

Save the Chimps, a sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, Florida for former laboratory and entertainment chimpanzees (including the "astrochimps" the Air Force used in research), found a creative solution to the problems created by transporting chimpanzees for medical care: a mobile vet lab.

The renovated RV allows vets to treat sick chimpanzees quickly and efficiently right outside the chimp's island home, with chimp friends and family right nearby. “What we find is if we can sedate a chimpanzee at their building within sight of their fellow island mates, then the chimp that we’re sedating is a lot less stressed, and the group is a lot less stressed,” Save the Chimps veterinarian Jocelyn Bezner told news outlet TCPalm. "When we used to take the chimp away to do a procedure, there was a lot of screaming and crying and banging. When we do it at the building, it’s totally quiet.”

Watch the TCPalm video below to see the mobile unit, which was the dream of sanctuary founder and Dr. Goodall's dear friend, the late Carole Noon.

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