Target: Cyndi Huntsman, Owner of Stump Hill Farm
Goal: Release Tootie from solitary confinement in a roadside zoo and send him to a sanctuary.
For the past 20 years, a chimp named Tootie has been confined to a cage at Stump Hill Farm, a roadside zoo in Ohio. Tootie has been exploited his entire life. When he was young he was taken from his mother and forced to perform for the entertainment industry, robbing him of the chance to lead a natural, fulfilling life. When Tootie’s acting career dried up, he was sold off to a breeder and forced to live in a small cage with a female chimp, with whom he refused to mate. Shortly after he was purchased by Cyndi Huntsman and brought to Stump Hill Farm. He has been living a depressing, solitary existence ever since.
While Stump Hill Farm is presented to the public as a “shelter” for abused and unwanted exotic animals, it is no different from your typical roadside zoo. Tootie and the other animals confined there, which include an African lion and a cougar, are denied basic needs like adequate living space and interaction with other animals, both of which are essential to their well-being.
According to a report by PETA, Stump Hill Farm has been cited over 20 times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for animal welfare violations, several of them having to do with the size of Tootie’s enclosure—a problem Stump Hill Farm repeatedly failed to address.
Chimps are like humans in that they require a dynamic social life. When forced to live in isolation, they become lonely, bored, depressed and, in extreme cases, even psychotic. Furthermore, as PETA notes, “a chimpanzee of Tootie’s age should be screened for cardiovascular disease, which is widely known to affect male captive chimpanzees.” Roadside zoos like Stump Hill Farm are not equipped to provide this level of care, putting Tootie at risk for early death.
There is only one acceptable solution to Tootie’s lifelong plight: he must be sent to a reputable sanctuary, where he can roam freely in a natural environment among fellow chimps. Please sign the petition below, demanding that Stump Hill Farm release Tootie from captivity.
Tootie the chimpanzee has been held in confinement at your facility for too long. Chimps are incredibly social, intelligent and sensitive creatures. In order to live happy, healthy lives, they require the same basic amenities that humans do: adequate living space and social interaction. By forcing him to live in isolation at Stump Hill Farm, you are denying Tootie the emotional and psychological fulfillment he deserves.
It is tragic enough that Tootie was taken from his mother at a young age and forced to perform as an actor on television. Please don’t continue to exploit this star-crossed animal. It is imperative that you release him from captivity and send him to a reputable sanctuary, where he can finally live the kind of life he and every other chimpanzee deserves. There is no more time to waste.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Stefan Roelofs