COLAA, along with Holly Reynolds and Cathy Breaux, have been asked by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (Candy) to participate in a federal lawsuit against Sam Haynes and Dixie Landin’, a/k/a Blue Bayou Water Park in Baton Rouge, pursuant to changes in the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. We gladly accepted. Please help us FREE CANDY by donating to ALDF on her behalf.
AUGUST 28, 2017 UPDATE
A 2015 lawsuit by animal rights advocates who sought to have Candy the chimpanzee removed from Dixie Landin’ amusement park, where she lived from the late 1990s until her death in April, has been dismissed by a federal judge in Baton Rouge. U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Bourgeois Jr. recommended earlier this month that the suit be thrown out, saying animal rights advocates had offered only “speculative innuendo” that Candy may not have died April 21 as reported by her owners. Senior U.S. District Judge James Brady dismissed the suit last week, noting that no objection was filed to the magistrate’s recommendation. Dixie Landin’ and Sam Haynes Jr., the 54-year-old chimp’s owner, filed a motion just days after Candy’s death was reported and asked that the suit be dismissed. They argued the suit was now moot in light of the chimp’s passing. But animal rights advocates questioned whether Candy had in fact died and opposed that motion. Bourgeois recommended the granting of the motion to dismiss, and Brady approved the recommendation and adopted it.
UPDATE ON CANDY
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Mourns Candy the Chimp’s Death
Posted on April 21, 2017
Candy is well known as ‘the loneliest chimp in the world’
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has been informed that Candy the chimpanzee died yesterday, Thursday, April 20, 2017. On Nov. 17, 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Sam Haynes and the Dixie Landin’ amusement park under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for inhumanely confining Candy in isolation and allegations of neglect.
News of Candy’s death was delivered from Dixie Landin’s legal counsel to Chimp Haven’s counsel. At this time, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is attempting to verify this report.
Candy has been held captive at Dixie Landin’ amusement park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for decades in lonely, cramped captivity and without any interaction with other chimps – facts that precipitated the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s legal action. This, despite multiple offers to transfer her to a sanctuary capable of meeting the needs of such a complex, intelligent, social creature. It is a tragedy that she spent her final days in such conditions and the Animal Legal Defense Fund mourns her death.
Candy was exploited for entertainment her entire life—more than 50 years. She spent twenty years confined in a small cage the size of a dog kennel. Most recently she was held in a metal cage on a concrete slab, with just a few toys and no nesting materials—depriving Candy of nesting, one of the most basic instinctual chimpanzee behaviors. Candy suffered a life of severe psychological harm and we will continue fighting for other animals held in abysmal captivity. In Candy’s honor, we will continue urging the courts to consider our legal obligations to all animals, including those with high levels of cognition and consciousness.
“The sad reality is that litigation sometimes moves too slowly through the courts to win animals the protections they deserve,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We are heartbroken to lose Candy and this tragedy highlights the urgency of similar cases of animals in captivity. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has had pending litigation for six years to release Tony, a 16-year-old tiger in potentially declining health held captive at a gas station less than an hour away from where Candy was held.”
Landmark Lawsuit Filed to Free Candy the Chimpanzee from Decades-Long Solitary Confinement at Louisiana Amusement Park
Posted on November 17, 2015 Contact: Patricia Jones, Paws PR: 718-651-7187 email@example.com
BATON ROUGE, LA — Today the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the nation’s leading legal advocacy organization for animals, filed a lawsuit against Sam Haynes and the Dixie Landin’ amusement park for inhumanely confining Candy, a 50-year old chimpanzee who has been alone for more than 40 years. ALDF alleges Haynes and Dixie Landin’ violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by isolating and neglecting Candy. The groundbreaking suit would extend important legal protections to chimpanzees, who experts agree can suffer and experience in ways similar to humans and deserve special protections.
Candy, the country’s loneliest chimpanzee, subsists in a virtually barren concrete cage, where she passes her time staring into space, drinking Coca-Cola, and smoking cigarettes thrown to her by patrons. Candy’s living conditions are grossly deficient and cause intense physical and psychological harm. Chimps are a social and intelligent species, and need the companionship of other chimpanzees and opportunities for enrichment. Candy has none of that, and experiences painful and punishing solitary confinement, which has been condemned by world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall and comparative psychologist Dr. Roger Fouts.
Video footage acquired by ALDF shows Candy sitting in the corner of her cage for hours at a time, starring into space—a sign of severe depression. She has been known to rock back and forth—what animal behaviorist call “stereotypic behavior,” which is symptomatic of poor welfare, severe stress, or even mental illness. On other occasions, she curls up into the fetal position on the concrete floor.
“This is a landmark case for animal protection,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Chimpanzees don’t deserve to suffer in punishing isolation, and we will see that justice is served.”
ALDF represents Cathy Breaux and Holly Reynolds, two long-time Baton Rouge animal advocates who have fought for Candy’s freedom for three decades, as well as the Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates.
Chimp Haven, a nationally renowned chimpanzee sanctuary located in Louisiana, stands ready to provide Candy with a new home in a naturalistic enclosure that is suited to her physical, behavioral, and psychological needs, with expert veterinary care.
For more information, including a copy of the complaint, video, and photos go to aldf.org/candy