Escape to Chimp Eden

Escape to Chimp Eden
Courtesy Animal Planet/Discovery Comm,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is That the Bugle Tones of the Cavalry?

I am back home in Coral Springs, FL (northwest of Ft. Lauderdale) after a few days in Key West. Did you know that if you're driving south in the eastern U.S. on I-95, then on to U.S. Route 1, Key West is the southernmost tip you can reach? But I digress...

After our last post earlier this week, I heard from a wonderful lady named Theresa. She is a member of "ChimpNet" which is part of the web site of the Jane Goodall Institute. Thanks to a
"Google Alert" our blog has come to the attention of the many members of "ChimpNet"
who are getting on board to help our cause. So to Theresa and members of the "ChimpNet"
team, many thanks for your support and your efforts.

If you're just joining us, those efforts are quite clear and concise. We are NOT asking
for money or cash. Rather we are contacting fire apparatus manufacturers and
people of "renown," i.e. Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, Jay Leno, Gene Simmons, etc.,
asking them too, to write to anyone who can help us procure the donation of one, rather
small, "brush truck" fire apparatus, so that Ms. Goodall, Eugene, Philippe and all the humans,
as well as the chimps and other animals at the Institute stand a chance in beating back
a fire.

I will be adding a few more links later today. Please make sure you write either an email
or a "snail mail" and add your voice to the cause.

Till next time...

Monday, July 14, 2008

SAVE CHIMP EDEN FROM FIRE!: Attention!!#links

SAVE CHIMP EDEN FROM FIRE!: Attention!!#links


It is July 14th and I happen to be on a mini-vacation in Key West, FL. We (my lovely wife & I) were supposed to go fishing this morning, but in Florida, Mother Nature rules all. A brief but powerful rainstorm delayed our departure and then 90 minutes later, a large thunderstorm cell moved in and we headed back to our hotel. (More info about the above will be found at my personal blog,

Naturally I bought along some reading material, including the latest edition of Firehouse(R) magazine. I've been a long-standing subscriber for almost the entire span since I first joined a volunteer fire department in 1977. When I began this campaign to help Chimp Eden, I emailed a "letter to the Editor" at the magazine. I quickly received a very courteous and professional response that asked me if it could be used editorially. I quickly agreed. Now bear in mind, Firehouse(R) received numerous letters every month and I assume, due to space requirements only prints a very few.

When we returned to the hotel this morning, I grabbed the magazine, plopped myself down into a chair and began to read. There, at the head of the letters column was my story about Chimp Eden and the plea for assistance. So to Firehouse(R) Magazine, its long-time editor, Harvey Eisner (himself, a volunteer firefighter for many years) and to the entire editorial staff at Cygnus Business Publishing, a big thank you for supporting this very important cause.

At this juncture, it appears that I must make one point absolutely clear: We are NOT soliciting, requesting, begging, etc., for ANY donations! DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT ATTEMPT IN ANY WAY TO SEND US MONEY! WE ARE NOT SEEKING PUBLIC FUNDS IN ANY MANNER, FOR THIS PROJECT! Get it?

So, you must be asking yourself, "If he doesn't want money, what does this crazy guy want?"

What I want and desperately need, is your help and assistance. I have written to all the major manufacturers of fire apparatus in the U.S. and in South Africa. And I am sure that most of my emails were met with a quick press of the "delete" key. But there is power in numbers and position (rank).

You do not even have to invest in postage (at least, not yet!). All we are asking for is for you to read through this site and send an email to the various manufacturers listed. Just the fact that Firehouse(R) and Cygnus have provided us with this exposure and wonderful and a great boost to this campaign.

In this age when the average family sees the need for one or both parents to work two jobs just to get by, the price of oil and gas soaring so high that many folks are leaving their "four-wheeler" at home, but many large corporations are making unheard of billions of dollars in profits, it's time to put some of those profits to better use than lining pockets. What better way than to truly live up to the standards advertised in every edition of "Firehouse(R) and every other industry magazine, and help this campaign provide a small, yet effective, brush truck that will save lives and property for many, who have no way of saving themselves.

A year ago, fans of the television show, "JERICHO" were so outraged that the show was canceled after just one season, without any resolution, that they organized a massive online campaign and sent over FOUR TONS of peanuts to the CBS offices in New York and Hollywood (most of which were donated to our brave men and women fighting overseas).

Now, I am not asking you to bombard these vehicle manufacturers with old boots, hose and turnout gear. I AM asking you to invest a few minutes to learn all about Chimp Eden and the TV show, "Escape to Chimp Eden(R)" on Discovery's Animal Planet (, write some emails to the manufacturers and talk it up with your family and friends.

Once you learn about The Jane Goodall Institute and Chimp Eden and watch a few episodes of the show (Animal Planet posts a TV schedule on the website), you too will want to join this very important effort. Listen, we're the crazy ones, right? We run in when everybody else is running out. Once on scene, we do everything possible to save lives and property, often with the ultimate cost. This is your chance to perform those same tasks without taking a step close to any fire emergency. Please remember that we're not talking about just saving the lives of the chimps, but also of the many people who live in and work at the Institute, as well as countless other wildlife that has been brought to the Sanctuary for various reasons.

Listen, I know, because I've been there. Then men and women of the fire/rescue service of every single country are some of the best people in the world. When someone needs help, we show up. We fix, we repair, we replace, we install, we comfort, we cry, we laugh, we care.

Please, please, help us now. I'm sounding your pager; I'm ringing your alarm bell. I'm toning your alerts. It's time to respond. Together. Thank you.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Where We Are...

So here we are on June 29Th and we have yet to hear anything back from the companies and entertainers we have contacted for this issue. Not to whine, nut what seems to hurt the most is that I know there have been visits and readers to this site, but no one, no one, has left a single comment on this blog!
Perhaps you came here by following the link from my signature on all my emails. And if you read through this blog clearly, you will see that I have not asked anyone for money, other than the corporations to whom we've written.
My whole purpose in creating this blog, was to appeal only to the vehicle manufacturers, for equipment and/or funds. I did not, nor do I now, wish to ask a single individual for a financial contribution.
Even in these difficult economic times, the major manufacturers of fire-fighting vehicles are still in business, with many trucks on the assembly line. This is true for both the "stock" manufacturers and the custom builders, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Perhaps some who have visited this site think that the appeal is to simply save a few chimpanzees. Nothing could be further from the truth! The equipment (one, single brush/wildland mini-truck) would not only assist in saving the chimps, but in addition, there are hundreds of more animals on the preserve land, as well as dozens of the workers and volunteers who live on the preserve as well. While it might be easy to turn your back on a "few animals," are you willing to turn your backs on the men and women who live and work on the preserve, each and every day?
To the readers who are regulars here, all I ask of you is to write to the manufacturers whose links are listed on the site. Ask them for their help. We're not requesting s fleet of vehicles; rather we asking for one single, specialized brush truck. This will allow the staff to protect both their homes and properties, as well as the animals they have dedicated their lives to protect.
Oh yes, and if you do drop by, please leave a comment; just so I know that all these efforts are not in vain.
Till next time...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Apologies for my Tardiness...

I am truly sorry that I have been away from this blog for several weeks. The primary cause for my absence was what we thought might have been another herniation of one of my lumbar discs (those are the ones in the lower back). It was almost too painful to sit and type at all, so my wife offered to bring the laptop to my bad where I would try to relax and reduce the pain. Unfortunately, that little gimmick didn't work.

My doctor sent me for an MRI and I racked up another 50,000 miles for my "in-tube" flight! I always joke with the technicians as they always ask (as they should) if this is my first time." So we flew above the clouds for over an hour for the 2 sets of films and finally discovered that it indeed, was not a new herniation. Rather, it was a buildup of tissue due to scar tissue and arthritic implications that were impinging on the nerve, thus telling my right leg to make a left turn while I continued straight on! So, last Monday, June 16Th, I entered the med center for a brief procedure called a "nerve block," that has seemed to work quite well in most of my daily circumstances, thus my return.

If you are a reader/follower of this blog, we desperately need your help!

1. encourage as many of your circle of friends, from both near and far to visit this site.
2. Once you and/or they have seen what this effort is all about, use the links to contact Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, and the many manufacturers' links we'll have here as well. Please write them a polite note asking for their help in saving Ms. Jane Goodall's Chimpanzee Eden. If a woman like Ms. Goodall can give as much as her entire life to fostering the proper relationship between humanity and our chimp cousins, how do we ask HER to give more. It is now OUR time to give.
3. If you have any other valuable links that we could use on this site, please email them to me and I'll post them here.

I've added a signature to every email I send out. It's a "clickable" signature that brings the visitor to this page.All it says is, That's it. It's that simple. Now if you add a signature to your personal emails, and your friends read it and they do the same thing, imagine what we could do for Eugene, Philippe and all the team at Chimp Eden!

Please.....until next time....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our First Appeals Are Out!

6/4/08 - As of today, we have sent seven (7) letters out to various U.S. fire apparatus manufacturers, including Pierce, Emergency-One, Ferrara, KME, Rosenbauer, Crimson, and Smeal. We tried sending an email to American LaFrance, however their "Contact Us" page was faulty and failed to provide the email link or an interest form.

I am happy to say that members of the JGI-CE have visited our blog site and are very excited about our efforts. If you read this blog and would like to help, I'll be making another post shortly with the URL's of the companies above, so that you can write your own appeal letter.

I must admit that I am a bit discouraged that we have not heard back word one from Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah. These are two greatest talk show entertainers in the industry and their support to this campaign would be invaluable. If you're up to it, please visit their web sites and send them an email, making sure you provide the link to this blog and asking them for their help.

Got to run, but will make the next post later on.

Till next time...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Without Knowing You've Been Here....

Good day all.
To those of you in the U.S., please remember the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform, which have allowed us to live free and supposedly "celebrate" Memorial Day. Remember at 3:00 PM EDT, there is a national moment of silence.

Moving on...thanks to the record-keeping of Sitemeter, I am please to say that many of you have stopped by this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are so happy that you've take a moment from your busy schedules to visit our humble little blog. But respectfully, we have to ask you for more....your comments!

Even though Sitemeter counts every site visit and page view, we need to be able to show the manufacturers that people care about this project. One of our "visits" was by Sue Slotar, the Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden. She was thrill with what I've done so far. And I am so grateful for the rest of you who have visited. But we still need more.

After you've read your fill, please take a minute to fill out a reader's comment. There's a simple icon at the end of every posting that allows you to say a few words. It's very important for us to be able to demonstrate to the manufacturers that there is widespread support for our efforts. The easiest way is simply to leave a comment.

The other way you can really help us, is to let all your friends and email correspondents know about this site. The easiest way to do that is to add a "signature" to your emails that will bring your readers to the site with one click of the mouse. If you'd like to add a signature to your email but you're not sure how please send an email to me and I'll be happy to do the best I can with your email software.

In Sue's email, she promised to show Eugene and Phillipe all the work we're doing on this sight. As long as I've been involved in computers, it's still exciting to know that after I type a few paragraphs, someone thousands of miles away can read it a few minutes later.

So please, pass the word around. Let people know about our blog and remember to leave some form of a comment after each visit. Even a one-word comment is better than no comment at all!

Be well and stay safe.

Till next time...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jane Goodall's Marvelous Work

Good day.

To my U.S. -based readers. I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of a beautiful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. Please pause and take a moment to remember the wonderful men and women who came before us and those most recently, who made the ultimate sacrifice serving in our armed forces, to protect our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness. May their souls be bound up in the bonds life and may they be carried under His sheltering wing to peace.

Well, it's been a fairly busy week as I continue to forge ahead, so far, on my own, to bring this goal to fruition and allow anyone and everyone interested to assist me in providing a true and top-of-the-line, firefighting vehicle, to the Jane Goodall Institute-Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa.

As I wrote earlier, my first goal was to plead our case to the two biggest U.S. television hosts out there, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. That was accomplished of the past week. I have not heard back from either host, other than the mail was received and read. Whether it got to either of these wonderful entertainers and philanthropists, I have no idea.

Additionally, I have followed numerous recommendations from both PC Mag and PC World Magazines, as well as online articles to help me assure that the web site is found my as many people as possible. Although I'm not a great web or blog builder, using online tools and suggestions make it a little bit easier. If YOU are a well-experienced Blog or Web site builder and you want to help, please contact me either via our comment section or via email and we'll thrash it out!

I have finished composing an email that will be sent to the major U.S. manufacturers of fire apparatus on Monday, to be seen on Tuesday, due to the holiday. It is my opinion that getting one of these companies involved is as important, if not more so, than connecting with Ellen or Oprah and that's damned important.

I really don't mind performing the start-up work, because I know the reward will be so great. And not only will a small brush-truck provide a large margin of safety for the animal habitats on the reserve, but will provide key, emergency assistance for medical emergencies and any structure fires that may break out.

So again, I turn to you, the audience. If you have seen the show (if you haven't, please check your local listings on cable or satellite, for Discovery Channel's "Escape to Chimp Eden." Trailers are already playing announcing a new season that will start soon. And after you've seen it once, you'll be hooked and fall in love with many of those amazing chimp characters, like Jaio, Cozi, and the new babies!

Again, this project allows every participant to make this world a better world by doing an act of kindness. And the legends say that for each one we do, we will receive in kind.

G-d bless and I look forward to hearing from you.

Till next time....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why This Blog? To Save a Chimpanzee?

Several months ago, the cable/satellite network, Animal Planet (owned by Discovery Networks, LLC) premiered a new show entitled, "Escape to Chimp Eden." It is hosted by a young South African Man, Eugene Cussins, who along with his father, plus head keeper Phillip Cronje and several other workers, run this amazingly, beautiful and natural Eden for chimps that have been rescued from all over the southern African continent.

Similar to what is happening to orangutans in Sumatra and Borneo and the great silver back gorillas of central Africa, adult chimps are being shot and butchered for bush meat for local tribes, and the orphaned babies are either left to die or kidnapped to be sold in the illegal pet trade business.

Eugene never planned on making this his life's work. He had wanted to me a software magnate, hugely successful, with the ability to watch and/or play cricket and rugby at his leisure. Instead, he finds himself traveling to dark, secret markets, where rumours have it that chimp meat is being sold and/or babies are up for sale. His goal? To rescue every orphan he can and give him/her the opportunity to live as much of a natural chimpanzee life as possible, at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa (

Currently, the program, "Escape to Chimp Eden," is in re-broadcasts on the Animal Planet, with a new season coming soon. However, if I had just wanted to tell you about the program, I wouldn't have gone through this effort to set-up this blog. There is more to tell you about.

The land upon which the sanctuary is located was settled by Eugene's grandfather and has been in his family for over eighty years. Besides housing the buildings and huge outdoor play and training area for the chimps, the Institute also takes in many other types of wild strays and orphans. Thus, there is a large amount of the sanctuary that is never seen on an episode and something happened there, And something did, just a few months ago.

As many of us are in countries around the world, South Africa had an especially dry summer season, with the danger of grass and brush fires looming every minute. A carelessly discarded cigarette, a casually-douses campfire, or even a stray bold of lighting, could light this tinder off into a raging inferno. And so it did, right in the middle of the sanctuary.

The call went out for everyone on staff to come and help fight a huge brush fire down in a section of the sanctuary covered with dry, fallen timbers and brush. Just looking towards it from the main building, they could all see a huge plume of smoke. The problem here though, when that call goes out, is that there is no fire brigade (fire department) anywhere near where the sanctuary is located. There are no pull-boxes and no dialing "9-11" to request a fire engine, Additionally, the nearest airbase that could launch aircraft for water drops is hours away, BY AIR! Thus, the sanctuary is all on its own.

I am a former firefighter and there's an old adage that states, "You can take the boy out of the firehouse, but you'll never get the firehouse out of the boy!" I can vouch for how true that is. When I watched this episode, it pained me to see that Eugene's father was driving the six-wheel truck with a couple of poly tanks on it and a small water pump. Add to this a few water cans strapped to the backs of some of the workers and you were seeing the entire compliment of firefighting equipment at the Sanctuary.

And I thought, how could I, sitting in my nice home in south Florida, allow this man, his family, friends, and co-workers, who give so much of their body and souls to protect these beautiful animals, fight these fires with such feeble tools. And then I had an idea.

For many years, Jewish organizations and private sponsors, have raised money to purchase ambulances (including Mobile Intensive Care Units and fully armored ambulances) for Israel's Emergency Medical Services, called the Maged David Adom. This organization is made up of between 98%-99% volunteers, who provide all levels of EMS services to all the residents of Israel, Jew, Muslim and Christian, alike. So I thought if they could do this for an ambulance, why couldn't a new group of dedicated people in the U.S. and around the world do the same thing, but by a small, but powerful fire truck, that is specialized for fighting large grass and brush fires?!?

So I wrote to Susan Slotar, the Executive Director of the Sanctuary and presented my idea to her. She answered me the next day and was thrilled and touched that someone would understand that unique predicament and would take on the responsibility to try and help.

Now so far, here's where we are:
1. I have received an "okay" from the Sanctuary to work towards this goal.
2. I've also written to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, as she had Eugene as one of her guests, just a couple of weeks ago and she is a wonderful supporter of animals and humane causes. I haven't heard back from them yet, but I'll be sending her another email to day that the Blog has begun.
3. On Monday, I will be contacting my accountant to see about setting up an IRS 501(c)3 status for the organization, which would allow your financial contributions to be tax-deductible.
4. I am also calling several of the best fire-vehicle manufacturers in this country to get a good idea of what price target we're looking at,

But this is not a task I can do totally by myself. If you want to help in any way (not just your wallet!!!) please post your message here and we'll work out a way to contact each other via email, Skype, or IM, without risk

We all have the chance to do good in this world and make this world a better place to live in. I'm sure many of you have already made contributions to various organizations to provide aid to the people of Myanmar and China. I'm not even looking for money yet!!! I just need help putting this group together. Maybe you are, or know someone who is a great tax attorney and could help us incorporate and get our 501(c) 3 label. Maybe you work at Pierce, Emergency One, Saulsbury, or one of the other fire truck manufacturers. Whatever you can do is important My goal is to get this truck to the Sanctuary by the next South African summer season.

Please, reach out and lend a hand.

Till next time...

The Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa

(Courtesy of the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa" web site:)

Set on a 1000 hectare game reserve, JGI Chimpanzee Eden is a home to chimpanzees that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. The world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue their South African sanctuary and has committed itself to the rescue and care take of chimpanzees in need of refuge. Being the 1st and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, this venue will be able to bring the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern technology. Entering the reserve, a mere 15 km from the bustling city of Nelspruit, visitors can expect to be captivated by the beautiful bush surroundings with most of the natural game species roaming the reserve.
The reserve is located in a low risk malaria area
The Chimpanzee Eden
The Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) is the closest relative to humans. In recent years the ‘bush-meat’ trade has grown exponentially as the great wild forests of Africa have become more accessible to humans, largely due to logging which is destroying primate habitats by opening large sections of forest with dirt roads. It is estimated that Chimpanzees will be extinct within their natural habitats in as little time as 10 years. Therefore the Jane Goodall Institute is committed to conserving the primates and has created multiple sanctuaries in Africa.
The goal of the Sanctuary is to rescue some of the Chimpanzees that have survived the hunting ordeal but are still misplaced through the lucrative illegal pet trade to zoos, circus performers and medical research facilities. Besides being provided with a home to live out their lives they are also provided with the necessary attention to recover from the trauma that they have experienced.
Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see Chimpanzees in semi-wild surroundings with normal social interaction and behavioural patterns under group members. The Chimpanzee groups live within large semi-wild enclosures that are close to their natural habitat. The enclosures also have viewpoints overlooking the forest and ‘foraging areas’. The ‘foraging areas’ have small fruits and berries mixed in Eucalyptus Tree leaves. These ‘foraging areas’ will provide the Chimpanzees with behavioural enrichment and will also provide visitors that arrive after the feeding time with a better chance to view them in the large enclosures.
Chimps like other Great Apes (Gorillas and Orang Utans) are finding an ever growing interest from the public, as they are the closest relatives to Human Kind and they are facing a quick extinction in their natural habitat.

Pierce Brush Truck

Pierce Brush Truck
Pierce Brush Truck