The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

Book - 2012
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Winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Fiction

Finalist for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-Fiction and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

National Bestseller

One magical summer, primatologist and author Andrew Westoll lived and worked at the Fauna Sanctuary, a refuge for thirteen chimpanzees rescued from a medical research lab. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is Westoll's vivid account of his adventures as a volunteer caregiver in the chimphouse and a heart-wrenching biography of its residents. Through Westoll's eyes, we witness the chimps' remarkable recovery first-hand. Simple things like establishing friendships, nurturing alliances, grooming one another and playing games of tickle-chase are all poignant testament to the capacity of these animals to heal--and to learn how to be chimps again.

Publisher: Toronto :, HarperPerennial,, 2012
Edition: Harper Perennial trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9781554686506
Branch Call Number: 636.988509714 WES


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Jun 08, 2016

"One Chimp is No Chimp." This quote from the book says it all. I discovered this book at the Library book club reading list and picked it up to join in on the discussion. Well, let me tell you I did not anticipate what I was in for. This biography on the lives of lab chimps in rehabilitation at the Fauna Sanctuary was so impactful that I decided make changes in my life as a response. I shop for products that have the "animal free testing" label. And support businesses that have eco-friendly practices. These are not just animal rights issues, it degrades humanities relations and thus effect our own heart to heart connections. We must do something in our lives to defiantly protest the apathy in our cultures. Social acceptance does not constitute what is right. (In my opinion, large scale commercial animal agriculture is even a human rights violation. You don't have to be a vegetarian, there are so many choices available to us now.) Chimps of the Fauna Sanctuary is a must read for anyone who wishes to actually use their conscience and stand up for the morals of humanity!

Jan 29, 2013

They should make this into a movie to reach a wider audience to incite the politicians to close down these labs. And take the profit to retire the chimps.

smc01 May 08, 2012

I loved this book. Andrew Westoll tells a compassionate and honest story about the chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, and the life they endured in research before they were sent to Quebec. He certainly desrved the Charles Taylor Prize.

chberard Mar 15, 2012

Finally a book that sustains my interest! (The first one in the last 6 months) Andrew Westoll is an amzing storyteller. No wonder he won the Charles Taylor Prize.

Dec 07, 2011

What a horrible species we humans are but luckily, not all of us! And thankfully, not Gloria from the Fauna Santuary. What a wonderful place that exists here in Canada. A must read!!!

hilarymh Jul 24, 2011

A fascinating book, well researched and beautifully written, but also heart breaking and appalling. It exposes how cruelly we treat such wonderful creatures and how dedicated people at the sanctuary coax them back from the dark places they had been inhabiting. Unbelievable that while most countries have banned experiments on chimps the USA still condones the practice.

It taught me a lot about resilience and the capacity to trust after traumatic times.

debwalker May 28, 2011

"What do you get when you take a baby away from its mother a few hours after birth and raise it in isolation, adding physical abuse that stretches on forever, all in the name of biomedical research?

The bad news is that, whether the baby is human or chimpanzee or probably anything else, the damage is lasting. The hurt done can never be fully healed. The good news is that some of us are trying. We are working with damaged human children and adults as well as damaged individuals of other species. One of us (let's try to look at this collectively, since we are all complicit in the damage) is doing it right this minute on a farm in Quebec."

Linda Spalding
Globe & Mail May 27 2011

May 11, 2011

Excellently done book. Choosing a wise way to approach a difficult subject, Westoll focuses on the the lives of thirteen individuals saved from research & zoos. By witnessing through him, their shattered selves and slow recovery, we see the importance of getting GAPA (Great Ape Protection Act) passed. Somehow, for such a grave topic, Westoll manages to slip in some humor (both human and chimp) to keep a balance. I am giving it a second reading right away... I just can't leave them yet.

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