Here is the story of Ponso: The current story of the NYBC (New York Blood Center, a brief description follows) leaving lab chimps to die of thirst and starvation in Liberia is not the first time this has occurred! There is another case against the NYBC for abandonment of 20 of its lab chimpanzees that can be found in the Ivory Coast! Of the 20 former lab chimps abandoned in Ivory Coast, all are dead from disease and starvation except for one.
Ponso came from Liberia and was used in viral research, part of the VILAB II project of the NYBC. Then, in 1983, Ponso and 19 other chimps were relocated to an island, close to Azagny National Park in Ivory Coast. They were between seven and eleven years old. Eleven in total are dead or had disappeared in the months that followed. Nine survivors were relocated again to another and smaller island, and among them was Ponso.
Five died shortly after, from disease or hunger ... only four managed to survive: Ponso and the female, with their two offspring. Then the female and her two offspring died at the end of 2013. Today Ponso lives completely alone on this five hectare island which offers no food resources.
The survival of Ponso depends entirely on the kindness and generosity of a villager who lives on the border with the small island. But this feeding is not sufficient (just bread and bananas). According to the villager, until a few years ago, a team came every three months to vaccinate the chimps. But then one day, everything stopped. Why it was stopped - we don't know. The help that once came from NYBC stopped a long, long time ago.
Please find below the links stating the facts of the VILAB project in Ivory Coast : https://portals.iucn.org/…/lib…/files/documents/2003-059.pdf