candy the chimp

Press Release

The Animal Legal Defense Fund Mourns Candy the Chimp’s Death

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.”