When two of our youngest chimpanzees, Emma and Jackson, were removed and transported out of state, our struggle over custody became a national media event. But to Primarily Primates, it was simply part of our commitment to looking after these youngsters for life -- precisely the commitment that defines us as a sanctuary.
Other values to consider are the feelings of Jackson and Emma after they've been living in another community over a long period, and the harmony and mutual support that ought to exist among the sanctuary movement as a whole.
So in May, we decided that -- rather than carry on a protracted legal dispute with Chimps, Inc. which could last years -- Jackson and Emma should remain where they are, in Oregon.
Supporters need to know how and where particular primates will be permanently settled, but the suit Chimps, Inc. filed in Oregon had kept these two young chimpanzees in legal limbo. We decided it would not be fair to two young chimpanzees to let them go through a substantial part of their adolescence in Oregon and then be uprooted.
We also believe that reaching a settlement agreement would allow us to move ahead and attempt to foster harmony in the sanctuary community.
We want Emma and Jackson to have a happy life. We'll always miss them. But we do have confidence that Jackson and Emma will enjoy a place of permanent safety.