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!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monkey and Chimpanzee Owners Speak Out-Bob Bowers, Judie Harrison

Bob, who’s owned wild animals all his life, admits Higgins has not always been a model pet. When Higgins was 3, he slept with the couple, often awakening Bob in the morning by climbing to the bedroom rafters and dropping onto Bob’s stomach. On one occasion, they got in a wrestling match, and Higgins put one of his “steel-like fingernails” through Bob’s scrotum.

Bob has considered moving him to a sanctuary, but “I’m just too attached to him,” he says.

Bob has been bitten several times by Higgins, who now weighs 50 pounds and has large incisors. Once, when Bob was leading him from an outdoor enclosure back to his cage in the house, Higgins exploded and the two got into a battle so ferocious that despite the steel mesh glove Bob was wearing, he screamed for Carlie to get his .22 rifle and put a bullet in Higgins’s head. She got Higgins a slice of raisin bread instead, quickly defusing the fight. But Bob accepts it: a wild animal will never be domesticated, he says.

“He shivered and I leaned over and said, ‘Come here, baby, are you cold?’ and he exploded,” Ms. Bowers says. “He started biting and screaming at me, biting any place he could touch. It was a nightmare. We tipped over furniture, I would have killed him if I could. But he was so strong. I tried to choke him to make him stop. We fought for I don’t know how long. I was trying to hold him so he couldn’t bite me. I took one of my big fabric books and held it on his throat.”

JUDIE HARRISON, 50 and three times married, is an extreme example of monkey love. She once demanded that her 15-year-old son give up his bedroom for a chimp, and today she is estranged from all three of her children because she put the primates first. Her passion also cost her her home.


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