Iconic Imagineer Joe Rohde Requests Support For Displaced Chimps

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rohde chimp

Credit: USC/National Geographic

Walt Disney Imagineering’s Joe Rohde is an icon in the Disney fan community. Rohde, the creative mind behind projects like Animal Kingdom and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, is extremely active on social media and regularly brings his followers behind-the-scenes stories about Disney Parks.

Now, Rohde is asking for help from Disney fans who follow his Instagram page. Yesterday, he shared this close-up photo of a chimpanzee.

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My birthday is coming up on September 10th. I usually ask people to donate to some conservation cause for me. This year I have an emergency to address…like we didn’t already have a few. There are over 30 chimps who need to be relocated from The now-closed Wildlife Waystation in California. They are currently being cared for with funds from Fish and Wildlife, which cannot be sustained forever…plus the Waystation is closed now and must inevitably disappear. There are very few legit sanctuaries available for these chimps, many of whom used to be experimental lab chimps. All the current facilities are full. In order to receive them these places need funding for additional facilities and staff. There is a program underway run by NAPSA, THE NORTH AMERICAN PRIMATE SANCTUARY ALLIANCE to move the chimps, but it needs millions in funding. So they’re starting a fundraising drive. We share about 99% of our DNA with chimps. Imagine 99% of the emotions, physical sensations, wants and needs of you or anyone you know. These chimps put in years of their lives in labs or onstage to either entertain you or to advance medical studies…now they need a break and a nice place to just go be chimpanzees. So, for the next week and a half until my birthday, I will be soliciting donations to the cause. Donations can be sent to: https://primatesanctuaries.org/chimps-in-need/ NAPSA is on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/PrimateSanctuary and Instagram at @napsaprimates

A post shared by Joe Rohde (@joerohde) on

Rohde captioned the post:

My birthday is coming up on September 10th. I usually ask people to donate to some conservation cause for me. This year I have an emergency to address…like we didn’t already have a few. There are over 30 chimps who need to be relocated from The now-closed Wildlife Waystation in California. They are currently being cared for with funds from Fish and Wildlife, which cannot be sustained forever…plus the Waystation is closed now and must inevitably disappear. There are very few legit sanctuaries available for these chimps, many of whom used to be experimental lab chimps. All the current facilities are full. In order to receive them these places need funding for additional facilities and staff. There is a program underway run by NAPSA, THE NORTH AMERICAN PRIMATE SANCTUARY ALLIANCE to move the chimps, but it needs millions in funding. So they’re starting a fundraising drive. We share about 99% of our DNA with chimps. Imagine 99% of the emotions, physical sensations, wants and needs of you or anyone you know. These chimps put in years of their lives in labs or onstage to either entertain you or to advance medical studies…now they need a break and a nice place to just go be chimpanzees. So, for the next week and a half until my birthday, I will be soliciting donations to the cause.

disney imagineer joe rohde
Imagineer Joe Rohde poses inside Satu’li Canteen, the restaurant within Disney’s Pandora.

The official Primate Sanctuaries website features the following information about chimps in need:

Wildlife Waystation, a sanctuary located in Southern California that was the first of its kind, caring for thousands of animals over a period of more than 40 years, closed its doors in 2019. This closure left hundreds of exotic and domestic animals in need of new homes. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded immediately, providing much needed supplies and security, and helping to rehome almost all of the 480 animals… but 42 chimpanzees remained.

We need your help to move them to trusted sanctuary homes.

chimps in need
Credit: NAPSA

Visit the NAPSA website, Facebook page, or official Instagram account (@napsaprimates) to learn more about how you can help support this cause that Imagineer Joe Rohde is so passionate about!

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