The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery

by Andrew Westoll
  • backlist
  • narrative
  • wilderness-outdoors-nature

A fascinating and moving account of a community of chimpanzees learning to be chimps again after years spent in laboratories.

In 1997 Gloria Grow started a sanctuary for chimps retired from biomedical research on her farm outside Montreal. For Gloria, caring for thirteen great apes is like presiding over a maximum security prison, a Zen sanctuary, an old folks’ home, and a New York deli during the lunchtime rush all rolled into one. But she is first and foremost creating a refuge for her charges — a place where they can recover and begin to trust again.

Andrew Westoll spent months at Fauna Farm as a volunteer. He arrives with dreams of striking up an immediate friendship with the legendary Tom, the face of The Great Ape Protection Act, but Tom seems all too content to ignore him. Gradually, Tom and the rest of the “troop” begin to warm toward Westoll as he learns the routines of life at the farm and realizes just how far the chimps have come.

Brimming with empathy, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary is an absorbing, big-hearted book that grapples with questions of just what we owe to the animals who are our nearest genetic relations.


Andrew Westoll, author

Andrew Westoll is an award-winning narrative journalist and internationally published author. A former biologist and primatologist, his books include The Riverbones, a travel memoir set in the jungles of Suriname, and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, which was a national bestseller and winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.


  • A distressing, deeply important exposé of the suffering we have inflicted on our closest animal relation, the ethics of animal testing, and finally (and happily) a heartening picture of Fauna Sanctuary’s commitment and compassion. - Publishers Weekly
  • Only the most intransigent heart will be unmoved. - Quill & Quire
  • Revealing and fascinating. - National Post
  • Riveting [...]. Andrew Westoll provides an opera of dramatic events, heart-rending tragedies and uplifting triumphs. For anyone interested in empathy and recovery, his book is required reading. - The Globe and Mail


  • Winner, Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Fiction

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Cooke International



rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 272

publication date: 04/25/2011

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: complete manuscript