Escape to Chimp Eden

Escape to Chimp Eden
Courtesy Animal Planet/Discovery Comm,

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