The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chimpanzee, Buck at Primarily Primates, Russ Cochran

Buck was born on the 15th of September 1994, to be kept as one of three chimpanzee pets in a Missouri home. Buck did a lot of things no chimpanzee born free in Africa would have ever done: live inside a house. Receive drinks of beer.

As the couple that owned Buck aged, it became apparent that Buck would outlive them—and it became terribly expensive to keep three mature chimpanzees, especially when it turned out—well, is it any surprise that full-grown chimpanzees will beat up on each other in close quarters?—Buck had to be separated from the others.

One of the owners contacted Primarily Primates in March 2009, desperate to find out if the refuge could accept Buck. After the owner agreed to send some money with Buck—to help pay for initial vet checks, a vasectomy and basic care— travel arrangements were made. On the 13th of April 2009, Buck arrived in San Antonio , and the sanctuary’s staff and veterinarian Dr. Val Kirk were on hand to ensure Buck safely returned to consciousness.

When I saw Buck the next day, he wasn’t much interested in fruits and vegetables, and we found it would take more time for Buck to learn about mangoes, greens, melons, oranges and other fruits and vegetables. Stephen bought strawberries, thinking sweet fruit could help the adjustment.

At first, Buck was afraid of grass, and avoided it and stayed inside, or walked along little strips of cement. Soon Buck navigated the 60 foot long, 40 foot wide and 20 foot high outside area by walking along the elevated platforms, and learning how to move quickly to cover the area.

On the 23rd of April, Buck met 38- year-old Mandy and 24-year-old Holly, who arrived at Primarily Primates in 1997, after the closure of the Scotch Plains Zoo in New Jersey.

Buck, Mandy and Holly are friends now. There’s lots of playful activity among them. Buck has also learned from Holly and Mandy how to enjoy melons and other fresh, nutritious foods, and now Buck’s getting accustomed to the Texas heat and sunshine. And grass.


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