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, November 29, 2009

Carmen Presti, Owner of 2 Adult Chimpanzees Wants To Move His Collection Of Primates

A Sanctuary that allows a 12 year child to pet the Primates? Sandra Herold also thought Travis was safe. Now we do fear what we know. Because he can brush his teeth makes him what? Human? Safe? Non-aggressive?

Carmen Presti, owner of the The Primate Sanctuary, helps 21 year old Charlie the Chimp brush his teeth.


WILSON: Carmen Presti will discuss primate sanctuary with the Wilson Town Board Wednesday

By Bill Wolcott/
Carmen Presti’s current neighbors hope he keeps his monkeys and exotic birds in the yellow brick building on Livingston Avenue.

However, the 26 primates and assorted birds are crammed in the former store and he hopes to give them more room in a primate sanctuary in Wilson. The neighbors on Youngstown-Wilson in Wilson aren’t so happy about it.

It’s something Livingston Avenue residents can’t understand.

“I think the people in Wilson are just being prejudiced. I really do. They just don’t want them there and it’s nonsense,” said Dorothy Bowers. “They are animals and people love the animals. We go look at them. My grandkids love them. I love them and we don’t want anything to happen to them.”

Latisha Hall, who also lives nearby, agrees. “My 12-year-old daughter comes here all the time. They have them outside and let you touch them, the little ones and big ones. They are no problem to the neighborhood, none whatsoever.”

Presti, who is a Wilson taxpayer, will meet with the Wilson Town Board on Wednesday hoping to can allay property-owner fears.

“It’s safe,” he said. “These animals are wonderful animals. You fear what you don’t know ... They need bigger digs and that’s what we’re going to do out here.”

Presti said he came to Wilson in 2001 before he bought the property and felt there would be no problem.

Opponents are concerned with the safety, the noise, the smell, the pollution and that Presti will not pay taxes.

“It concerns me as well,” Supervisor Joe Jastrzemski said. “I do know he would like to be tax-exempt. I don’t have a problem of him being tax-exempt himself, but if would like to put up a 12,000-square foot building, my contention is, he’s got to pay taxes on it.”

Paul Proulx, a Wilson resident who recently sold his last piece of property in Niagara Falls, feels that decision for Presti to come to Wilson is up to Presti.

“I see no problem with him moving here,” said Proulx, who has owned Tropic Cove pet stores on Military Road and Pine Avenue in Niagara Falls.

“The man is quality. He’s into it,” said Proulx who was interviewed at the Wilson House. “He does it right. He gives them the right foods, medical care. I have nothing to bad to say about the man and I’ve been in the industry 25 years. He takes very good care of his animals.

“The kids love going to see his animals. You see them standing around the building looking in.”

The windows were a bit steamed and soiled on Tuesday. The property around the building was clean. Inside, there were caged birds in the front and chimps a little deeper, peering out, perhaps looking for attention. There’s a chain link fence inside for the bigger primates.

Neighbors can’t go there — some of those neighbors are hoping Presti doesn’t go.

“I don’t want them to move,” Bowers said. “It’s a pleasure to have them across the street. They don’t make noise, the kids on the street make more noise than they do. You can barely hear them. In the summer, when the door is open, you can’t smell anything. They’re quiet, they’re clean. What more can you ask of a neighbor?”


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