Brian Hare, a primatologist at Duke University, started a petition on Change.org in light of the move. "I have studied great apes for 20 years in all contexts across the globe - labs, zoos, sanctuaries, the wild," he wrote in a salient email to The New York Times. "Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this."
To prevent the chimps from dehydration and starvation, a coalition of animal welfare groups, led by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is leaping into high gear and raising funds to care for the animals. HSUS says it requires $30,000 per month to do this. According to Samantha Miller, media relations specialist at the organization, $70,012 was raised as of Monday, with 1,290 people contributing to the effort.
Devoted local caregivers associated with NYBC are still delivering food to the chimpanzees every other day, says Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues for HSUS.