Tonka the chimp rescued from basement

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Tonka the chimp, who starred in “George of the Jungle” and “Buddy,” has been rescued from a basement in Missouri. Tonka’s former owner, Tonia Haddix, allegedly told PETA that Tonka had died last year when they seized several chimps from her last year.

PETA issued a release about Tonka’s rescue on Monday, writing:

we launched a nationwide search for Tonka’s whereabouts that included help from actor and PETA honorary board member Alan Cumming, who appeared alongside Tonka in the film Buddy.


The search ended last week, when Tonka was found concealed in a tiny cage that was nailed to the floor in Haddix’s basement. He could only take a few steps in any direction, he was not allowed to go outside, he couldn’t feel the sun or the grass beneath his feet, he had no companionship with other chimpanzees—something extremely important to chimpanzees’ welfare—he was overweight, likely from lack of exercise, and he was not receiving proper veterinary care.

Tonka is now in the care of the Save the Chimps organization in Florida. On Tuesday, the organization wrote:

Save the Chimps welcomes #TonkaTheChimp to our sanctuary.

This journey has not been easy for Tonka, but thanks to the hard work of many including PETA and our care staff, now he will receive the best care and actually have the basic freedoms that he deserves with other chimpanzees who share that same trauma.

Find Save the Chimps on Facebook at this link.

(Image via Save the Chimps)

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