Pepper

Say hello to Pepper! Yes, she is a chimpanzee! Pepper was one of many animals supported by the Fauna Foundation. She gave over 30 years of her life in the name of research and then spent her remaining years at Fauna's chimp sanctuary. There she was able to live out the rest of her years in peace doing the things she loved.

Everyone's got a story, including animals. Pepper was one of the kindest souls at Fauna but in order to really understand what Pepper was like, read one of the most amazing moments Linda Grow (Auntie to the chimps) had with Pepper.

"When Pepper was in her last days and the family knew she needed us, we made our own decisions to go in with her as she needed help to eat and to be comfortable in her bed, as she slowly became weaker from her illness everyday. Each day we arrived, we wondered if today would be the day god would take her. She would lift her head and grunt a weak hello, pull herself up to greet us, and maybe take a little water and what ever food she could handle.

On the day I chose to enter her enclosure, my heart was pounding I had many emotions fear, love, sadness, guilt for the human race, but mostly love for this amazing chimpanzee who had her soul and her dignity taken from her at the hands of science and money in the name of Research. She spent more than thirty years in a 5 x 5 x 7 cage in a lab in complete fear, every day of her life waiting for the next dart gun to hit her be cut open and tested again.

When I stepped through the small door of the enclosure to the outside cage in which she was in. My sister Gloria and brother Glenn outside the enclosure, Dawna was inside and announced to Pepper, "look aunty Linda is here" as we did not want to frighten her when I came through the door. She was so weak. She turned and looked at me as I approached and made a quiet but clear 'hello' chimp grunt. I quietly approached her, not knowing what she would do, my heart was pounding, I could not believe I was in the enclosure with a chimp. As I sat down behind her, Pepper turned and took my hand in hers and tucked it into the top of her leg (this is where chimpanzees carry precious things, their babies, food). She held my hand, patted and gently squeezed it the entire time I sat there. We all cried. Without words it seemed she had said, "I am so happy you came, I am so glad you are all with me!" Pepper died a few days later! With my family at her side.

This is one of my most amazing moments with Pepper!"

- Linda Grow

Lets give you an idea of what The Fauna Foundation is about. Fauna is a non-profit organization that provides rescue and permanent sanctuary to animals from the farming, entertainment, education and research industries that have been used, neglected, abused or rejected by humans. Fauna was established in 1997.  Their primary focus is to provide a better life for chimpanzees rescued from research. They are the first sanctuary to accept HIV infected chimpanzees from a laboratory. Fauna is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Canada and is home to 13 chimps.

Fauna’s mission is to not just protect animals in its own care, but to foster an attitude of respect and an ethic of compassion, care and protection toward all animals everywhere.

Gloria Grow - Founder of the Fauna Foundation 

The monies that the Fauna Foundation will receive out of the purchases of the "Pepper" bracelet could aid in purchasing toys, kitchen supplies and even support the addition of the Chimp Skywalk. The Skywalk is an enclosed walkway that allows the chimps a sense of freedom as they can walk outside and around the building. The chimps LOVE it! Fauna's goal is to one day finish the Skywalk tunnel that will reach all the way around the property. The cost is $100 per foot since it's made of heavy gage steel. 

There are less than 10 Pepper bracelets left, a $20 donation is given to the Fauna Foundation with every purchase of a Pepper bracelet. Together, we're making a difference. You can purchase yours here.