Two members of the Georgia Animal Rights and Protection were arrested this afternoon during a rally at Emory University. The group gathered at the science center to demand the Yerkes National Primate Research Center release Wenka, a 58-year-old chimpanzee who's reportedly lived at the center for half a century and is still used for research and testing, to an animal sanctuary. CL reader (and occasional CL photo contributor) Jon Whittaker submitted photos and writes:
"Emory/Yerkes Research facilities chimpanzee, Wenka, turned 58 today after being at the research center for over 50 years.
Georgia Animal Rights and Protection (GARP) group assembled for a demonstration and protest today at Emory's Stonegate main entrance for Wenka's release to a chimpanzee sanctuary as well as to cease further experiments on the other primates at Yerkes.
After an hour of peaceful protest and passing out literature, two of the members from GARP chained a sign blocking the Stonegate entrance and before Emory police could remove the sign with bolt cutters the 2 members chained, shackled, and padlocked themselves to the 2 towers of the entrance gate, blocking any incoming traffic.
Another hour passed before Dekalb County Police, assisted by Emory Police and management, used bolt cutters to remove the [two] women from the towers and placing them under arrest.
The other protesters continued on for about another hour before dispersing without further incident with police."
UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.: An Emory spokeswoman sends along comment:
"Two animal rights protesters who hung a banner across the main entrance gate of the Emory campus and chained themselves to the banner, blocking access to the campus, were arrested for criminal trespass today. This happened after they declined a request from Emory Police to remove themselves and the banner from the roadway.
Emory and the Yerkes Research Center are devoted to the care of Wenka, the oldest chimpanzee at Yerkes. Wenka has been a key participant in the Center's National Institute on Aging-funded grant to compare how humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys age.
The knowledge Yerkes researchers are gaining from Wenka and other animals at the center is invaluable in helping humans live longer, more healthful lives. Yerkes researchers will continue to build upon their solid foundation of scientific advancements, and the center will continue to provide experts to care for all of its animals."
More photos after the jump.
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