I want to create a web series about the life of Oliver the chimpanzee and
efforts to build him a new living area at a Texas sanctuary. My hope is that the series will document, promote and inspire the building of new habitats for Oliver and other captive chimpanzees and monkeys who are cast-offs from the pet trade, entertainment and biomedical research industries.
The first goal and subject of the series: Home for Oliver.
In the 1970's, Oliver the chimpanzee was touted as the "Humanzee" or "Missing Link.” Supposedly part human and part chimpanzee, he walked upright, smoked cigars and drank whiskey while watching television with his owner. He was flown to Japan for genetic testing, where he was seen by more than twenty million people on Japanese television. The results of that testing were inconclusive and Oliver eventually disappeared from the public eye.
In 1998, the Buckshire Corporation agreed to release several laboratory chimpanzees to the Primarily Primates animal sanctuary in Texas. When they arrived, one of these chimpanzees didn't crawl out of his transport cage - he walked out completely upright. His name was Oliver.
Oliver had spent seven years locked up alone in a small cage and his muscles had atrophied.
Today, Oliver lives at the sanctuary with another chimpanzee named Raisin. While the sanctuary is continuing to create larger grass-bottomed habitats for all of its chimpanzees, in a tough economy, they have not been able to raise funding to build a new, larger, grass habitat for Oliver, who also has special needs due to blindness and advanced age.
I am looking to raise a total of $4600.00, which should allow me to produce two to three webcasts per month for six months. Those webcasts will feature animal stories, expert interviews and the sanctuary's efforts toward building Oliver a new living area. Additionally, I may travel to other U.S. sanctuaries to conduct documentary research into the best type and size of habitat to build, and ways to utilize green building techniques.
My hope is to create this web series as the first step towards the goal of giving Oliver a new and more natural living area. The money I am seeking will go toward producing these webcasts and will not directly support the construction of Oliver’s new home, which could cost between $30,000 and $170,000. Those who would like to directly support the renovations at the sanctuary can do so through their web site, www.primarilyprimates.org.
About my involvement with the sanctuary:
I have volunteered my production and post-production services to the Primarily Primates animal sanctuary for several years now, having filmed, produced and edited over 50 videos for the sanctuary. These can be found in the “videos” section of the sanctuary’s web site at www.primarilyprimates.org.
- (31 days)