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Before he became a writer, Andrew Westoll was a primatologist - like Jane Goodall, but minus the physical endurance, scientific breakthroughs and universal acclaim (according to him).
His latest book 'The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary' is remarkable... but even Andrew would admit that this story isn't really about him. It's about a family of traumatized chimpanzees and the remarkable woman who saved them. The chimps spent years at a lab in New York state, undergoing cruel medical experiments and experimental surgeries: some were injected with HIV, others were driven mad from isolation, and most had to live in tiny cages about the size of your kitchen table.
In 1997, Gloria Grow rescued them and brought them to her chimp refuge located in Quebec, the 'Fauna Sanctuary'. Fauna became a rehab center and a retirement home to chimps like Tom, Rachel and Binky... as they began their healing and learned to trust humans again.
Two years ago, Gloria asked Andrew to move in with the chimps and write their story. Andrew spent 10 weeks as a volunteer care-giver at Fauna.
Andrew continues to spread the word about the experiences in his book - he'll appear at the International Festival of Authors in Midland in November.