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!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Joe the Monkey may need a new home! Can any sanctuaries take Joe?

If the owners of this monkey don't come back Joe is going to need a sanctuary. It's bad enough that the owners even bought Joe, thinking he could be a pet but not to do the "right" thing for Joe is terrible. The cage he is in looks like a small Macaw cage. How cruel is that!!!!! He can't jump or swing or really do anything. Someone needs to help him. I'm going to write to some of the people i know and see if there is an opening somewhere in a primate sanctuary. Perhaps Jungle Friends would have something.

REIDSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A woman is recovering from bites on her hand after being attacked by a friend's monkey Sunday.

This is Joe. He is a Black Capped Capuchin

Patricia Knight was sitting a black-capped capuchin monkey named Joe for a friend who went out of town when things got out of control around 3 p.m.

"He went crazy on me and started biting real bad. I threw him off of me and he got out of the cage," Knight said.

Knight said she opened Joe's cage to change his water bowl when he jumped on her head. Then as Knight tried to keep the pet from running outside the home, he attacked her, deputies said. Knight received medical treatment and is back home.

"He is like a kid. It's not his fault. It's OK," Knight said.

Animal control officers caught Joe on the front porch of the owner's home at 3062 Wentworth St. and put it back in the cage, deputies said.

"Dogs, cats, it's OK, but when you take a wild animal and try to make it a baby, it just doesn't work," Knight said.

Knight had cared for Joe for four days, though the owner told Knight she would only need to care for him for one day.

"They dropped him off and pretty much abandoned him. They did not come back," Knight said.

Deputies are trying to find the owner, as well as trying to find Joe a new home.

Capuchin monkeys are considered to be very intelligent and are found in the wild in Central and South America.

Story Credit Here

Two Lemur Monkeys die at the Little Rock Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is sad to report the loss of two red ruffed lemurs found dead on exhibit Friday afternoon, January 15
Video here

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fifty years ago Ham the Chimpanzee went up in space

Fifty years ago, there was a space race -- a race the United States was losing to the communists.
Enter a hero, named Ham. The chimp would become the first hominid launched into outer space. And Ham wasn't just a passenger. He was taught to push a button once the light for re-entry came on. His mission set the stage for the one Alan Shepard would make May 5, 1961, aboard Freedom 7.

Marvin Grunzke of Montgomery, once an Air Force aeromedical specialist, holds a photo of Ham, the first chimp to be launched into space. Grunzke helped train Ham. (David Bundy Advertiser)

Monday is the 50th anniversary of when Ham the "astrochimp" launched into suborbital space inside a Mercury capsule.

And the chimpanzee's trainer, Marvin Grunzke -- a retired Air Force colonel and Faulkner University professor -- will dis­cuss his work and experiences Monday at Dalraida United Methodist Church.

"Nobody had been in space, so nobody knew anything," Grunzke said.

But at the time, John F. Kennedy had became president, and announced that the country would make "space our project," said Grunzke, 87, "and that we're going to the moon.

"What was significant about it was, we had just sent a missile up that had difficul­ty carrying a basketball-sized space lobe," he said. "So our capability for space was pretty dramatic."

In October 1958, Grunzke and his wife, Eunice, lived at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Grunzke was working in an "unusual environments program," testing people and subjects in all types of environmental conditions.

One evening, Grunzke witnessed Sput­nik -- although he wasn't sure whether it was Sputnik, or Sputnik 2, which carried Laika, a Soviet space dog.

The dog became the first animal to or- bit the Earth and the first orbital death.

"They had enough missile pow­er to send that into space," Grunzke said. "And we didn't."

At that time -- the late 1950s -- there were only five people working in NASA, and they needed help. So the government approached the Air Force.

Grunzke was then an Air Force major and aeromedical specialist at Wright Patterson, and was request­ed by NASA to transfer to New Mex­ico to be a key trainer in the "ani­mals in space" program.

After Grunzke worked for a cou­ple of years to help develop training and data recording equipment and to train different animals, the chimp was selected and trained for space travel experimentation be­cause the chimpanzees share com­mon physical attributes with hu­mans.

But there wasn't enough power in the capsule to carry anything too heavy, so the chimp could not weigh more than 30 pounds.

It was an exciting time for Grunzke, whose design develop­ments -- including the chimp's chair, a restraint system, and even a pellet dispenser to hold treats -- took longer to complete than it did to train chimps, which only took a couple of weeks.

"They needed the chimps to have full movements, and only re­strained them at the knee and an­kles," Grunzke said. "We needed to assure the subject would respond, and reward them for good behavior.

"All of these things reflected the fact that we had to combine new technology and subjects new to us. We worked hard so we were able to stay ahead."

Grunzke said they developed two programs.

One, was a "continuous avoid­ance action" in which the chimp was required to continuously press the lever on a consistent basis.

"And they developed a nice schedule," he said. "They just sat there and kept pressing the lever. But another thing is ... we wanted to test to see if they had a good reflex response.

"So we developed another lever with a light over it, and it would come on in random intervals and the subject would have a quick time to respond. So they would be work­ing the right-hand lever on a con­tinuous basis and the left-hand le­ver would be on a single basis and (they) wouldn't respond to it except for when that light came on so we could test reaction times."

This helped researchers test their response time and their re­flexes. Both were important be­cause in both instances subjects were responding to avoid punish­ment. If needed, the punishment was saucer-type plates in the chimp's feet that would send a slight electric shock if needed.

They never failed.

"I don't have any regrets, be­cause I know that there were things we had to do," Grunzke said of the punishment possibility. "There were things we had to do for the be­havior to be maintained."

The researchers had to learn whether living things -- and even­tually a human being -- could han­dle the rigors of space, said Grunzke, a professor of physiologi­cal psychology and behavioral sta­tistics at Faulkner University for the past 15 years.

"We could see the subject was re­sponding, and working according­ly," he said.

At one point during the short mission, though, Ham experienced 16 forces of gravity -- now, astro­nauts experience only three to four forces of gravity.

"When you have that kind of force, we learned we could literally do this," Grunzke said. "It showed them that man could do this as well.

"Because of the similarity be­tween the chimp and the human, we could draw an extraction from that and show this could be a simi­lar situation for humans."

In the end, Ham's suborbital flight lasted 16 minutes and 39 sec­onds, and while the capsule he was in suffered a partial loss of pressure during the flight, Ham's space suit prevented him from suffering any harm.

"As a result of that, a kind of mis-programming of the Ham mis­sile, we were able to gain some very valuable information about what humans could or could not do un­der very adverse acceleration and deceleration issues," Grunzke said.

When first approached to help with the animal in space program, Grunzke was excited.

"If we stop to think about it, and you have to project yourself back to think about it -- (back then we didn't) even have the capability to send a grapefruit-sized (object) into space, and we were going to send animals into space," he said. "And they would be a precursor to man."

This was so exciting to Grunzke that he designed a program that demonstrated that animals could be trained to steer a missile.

"I did that because if we wanted to shoot a space flight to the moon, we would maybe have to steer the missile," he said. "The whole pur­pose was that we could steer a cap­sule into the atmosphere. The time­frame was such that we were just developing transistors. Everything that we did was on big relay racks" -- designed to program the sched­ules so he could switch and vary the schedule."

Grunzke considers himself gen­erously blessed.

"I always say I have been gener­ously blessed," Grunzke said. "There's not a whole lot that I did, but the Lord watched out for me.

"What we did was minimal things, but it opened the door."

After Grunzke worked for a cou­ple of years to help develop training and data recording equipment and to train different animals, the chimp was selected and trained for space travel experimentation be­cause the chimpanzees share com­mon physical attributes with hu­mans.
But there wasn't enough power in the capsule to carry anything too heavy, so the chimp could not weigh more than 30 pounds.

It was an exciting time for Grunzke, whose design develop­ments -- including the chimp's chair, a restraint system, and even a pellet dispenser to hold treats -- took longer to complete than it did to train chimps, which only took a couple of weeks.

"They needed the chimps to have full movements, and only re­strained them at the knee and an­kles," Grunzke said. "We needed to assure the subject would respond, and reward them for good behavior.

"All of these things reflected the fact that we had to combine new technology and subjects new to us. We worked hard so we were able to stay ahead."

Grunzke said they developed two programs.

One, was a "continuous avoid­ance action" in which the chimp was required to continuously press the lever on a consistent basis.

"And they developed a nice schedule," he said. "They just sat there and kept pressing the lever. But another thing is ... we wanted to test to see if they had a good reflex response.

"So we developed another lever with a light over it, and it would come on in random intervals and the subject would have a quick time to respond. So they would be work­ing the right-hand lever on a con­tinuous basis and the left-hand le­ver would be on a single basis and (they) wouldn't respond to it except for when that light came on so we could test reaction times."

This helped researchers test their response time and their re­flexes. Both were important be­cause in both instances subjects were responding to avoid punish­ment. If needed, the punishment was saucer-type plates in the chimp's feet that would send a slight electric shock if needed.

They never failed.

"I don't have any regrets, be­cause I know that there were things we had to do," Grunzke said of the punishment possibility. "There were things we had to do for the be­havior to be maintained."

The researchers had to learn whether living things -- and even­tually a human being -- could han­dle the rigors of space, said Grunzke, a professor of physiologi­cal psychology and behavioral sta­tistics at Faulkner University for the past 15 years.

"We could see the subject was re­sponding, and working according­ly," he said.

At one point during the short mission, though, Ham experienced 16 forces of gravity -- now, astro­nauts experience only three to four forces of gravity.

"When you have that kind of force, we learned we could literally do this," Grunzke said. "It showed them that man could do this as well.

"Because of the similarity be­tween the chimp and the human, we could draw an extraction from that and show this could be a simi­lar situation for humans."

In the end, Ham's suborbital flight lasted 16 minutes and 39 sec­onds, and while the capsule he was in suffered a partial loss of pressure during the flight, Ham's space suit prevented him from suffering any harm.

"As a result of that, a kind of mis-programming of the Ham mis­sile, we were able to gain some very valuable information about what humans could or could not do un­der very adverse acceleration and deceleration issues," Grunzke said.

When first approached to help with the animal in space program, Grunzke was excited.

"If we stop to think about it, and you have to project yourself back to think about it -- (back then we didn't) even have the capability to send a grapefruit-sized (object) into space, and we were going to send animals into space," he said. "And they would be a precursor to man."

This was so exciting to Grunzke that he designed a program that demonstrated that animals could be trained to steer a missile.

"I did that because if we wanted to shoot a space flight to the moon, we would maybe have to steer the missile," he said. "The whole pur­pose was that we could steer a cap­sule into the atmosphere. The time­frame was such that we were just developing transistors. Everything that we did was on big relay racks" -- designed to program the sched­ules so he could switch and vary the schedule."

Grunzke considers himself gen­erously blessed.

"I always say I have been gener­ously blessed," Grunzke said. "There's not a whole lot that I did, but the Lord watched out for me.

"What we did was minimal things, but it opened the door."

Story Credit Here and video

Riverside Discovery Center where woman was attacked by Chimpanzees will be doing an internal investigation

The executive director of the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff said officials at the center are in the middle of an internal investigation following a Jan. 14 incident.
During that incident, an animal keeper at the zoo had parts of two fingers bit off and a third finger injured by chimpanzees at the zoo.

Anne James said they are not going to release the name of the injured employee, citing that releasing the woman’s name would be a HIPA violation.
“Out of respect for the privacy of our staff member and their family, we will not be releasing the name of the employee involved at this time,” James said in release sent to the media on Tuesday.

The woman involved in the incident is home, but not at work. The worker was not in the chimpanzee exhibit at the time of the incident. James said the woman that was injured also had previous experience working around wild animals.

Following the incident, the woman was taken to a Denver hospital. James said they had hoped that the fingers could be reattached, but surgeons were unable to reattach the fingers.

James said at this point there is nothing to report except that an internal investigation has been started at the center.

“We are not through with the investigation yet,” said James. “Until the investigation is done, we really can’t release anything.”

James did say that a representative with the USDA was at the zoo on Tuesday collecting information regarding the incident. Since the center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), information from any investigation is sent and reviewed by the AZA. If the AZA does conduct an investigation and finds that a zoo is at fault, the zoo could lose its accreditation.

“Riverside Discovery Center takes safety very seriously. Our biggest priority is to provide the safest environment for our staff, visitors and animals,” James said. “When this incident occurred, neither members of the public nor any other staff members were ever in any danger.”

James said information collected from the internal investigation and what is collected by the USDA would be sent to the AZA. She said after the AZA reviews the findings and if the agency wants more information, it would conduct its own investigation.

She said it could take a month before the RDC is notified on whether the AZA plans to conduct its own investigation.

“Until we know what is going to happen, because of this incident, there is really nothing more that we can say,” said James.
Story Credit Here

Chattanooga Zoo will be investigated over many deaths of animals

A federal inspector will pay a visit to the Chattanooga Zoo after someone filed a complaint.

WDEF reported Hank the Chimpanzee died Monday. Hank's death is one of seven in the past month. Ten animals died last year.

A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Agriculture says he received a complaint about the welfare of the animals.

The zoo director says she welcomes the inspection and oversight.
Story Credit Here

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chimpanzee Moms Mourn for their babies... Stop the breeding and selling of Chimpanzee babies Missouri Primate Foundation

This is one of many reasons why Chimpanzees should not be bred or sold. The missouri Primate Foundation is the largest Chimpanzee breeder of pets in the US. They don't believe that the mother mourns for her baby when they are ripped away from them screaming.

ScienceDaily (Jan. 27, 2011) —
 For the first time, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands report in detail how a chimpanzee mother responds to the death of her infant. The chimpanzee mother shows behaviours not typically seen directed toward live infants, such as placing her fingers against the neck and laying the infant's body on the ground to watch it from a distance. The observations of Katherine Cronin and her team provide unique insights into how chimpanzees, one of humans' closest primate relatives, learn about death.

Chimpanzee mothers' behaviour at her dead infant. (Credit: Image courtesy of Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics)

Their commentary appears online this week in the American Journal of Primatology.
The research team conducted their observations at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust in Zambia, where wild-born chimpanzees who have been rescued from illegal trade live in the largest social groups and enclosures in the world. Dr. Katherine Cronin and Edwin Van Leeuwen of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics collaborated with Innocent Chitalu Mulenga of Chimfunshi and Dr. Mark Bodamer, a professor of Psychology at Gonzaga University in Washington State, USA.

Close relationship

Chimpanzee mothers typically are in close contact with their offspring for several years, carrying them almost continuously for two years and nursing until they are four to six years old. The close relationship between the mother and offspring continues for several years after weaning, and is one of the most important relationships in chimpanzee life.
Premature death

Cronin and her colleagues observed the behaviour that a female chimpanzee expressed toward her 16-month-old infant who had recently died. After carrying the infant's dead body for more than a day, the mother laid the body out on the ground in a clearing and repeatedly approached the body and held her fingers against the infant's face and neck for multiple seconds. She remained near the body for nearly an hour, then carried it over to a group of chimpanzees and watched them investigate the body. The next day, the mother was no longer carrying the body of the infant.

Nearly nothing is known about how primates react to death of close individuals, what they understand about death, and whether they mourn. The MPI researchers therefore believe to have reported a unique transitional period as the mother learned about the death of her infant, a process never before reported in detail. But they largely refrain from interpretation, while providing extensive video to allow viewers the opportunity to judge for themselves what chimpanzees understand about death.

'The videos are extremely valuable, because they force one to stop and think about what might be happening in the minds of other primates', Cronin says. 'Whether a viewer ultimately decides that the chimpanzee is mourning, or simply curious about the corpse, is not nearly as important as people taking a moment to consider the possibilities.'

Mother-infant bond

Previous reports have documented chimpanzee mothers carrying their deceased young for days or weeks, demonstrating that the severing of the mother-infant bond is incredibly difficult for chimpanzees. The current research complements these observations and sheds new light on how chimpanzees might learn about death.
'These data contribute to a small but growing body of data on how nonhuman primates respond to death. We hope these objective accounts will continue to accumulate and eventually allow researchers to take a comprehensive look at the extent to which nonhuman primate understand death, and how they respond to it.'
Story Credit Here

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Allen Hirsch, in my opinion did the right thing. I would have also done what he did. He must have really loved his little monkey. He knew as all monkey owners should know that the only way they can test a monkey for Rabies is to remove their head. There hasn't been a case of Rabies in monkeys for years, though the protocol for this testing is still done. I never did understand why they don't reevaluate the need for that test. I wish Mr. Hirsch all the luck in the world with this case. For those of you that don't know, his little monkey passed away a few days ago of cancer at the Jungle Friends Sanctuary.
The state has smacked painter Allen Hirsch with a $40,000 fine Wednesday for hiding his cheek-chomping capuchin in Florida after the beastie tore into a Queens woman's face.

Benjamin, a 14-year-old Weeper Capuchin

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials have also revoked Hirsch's license to keep wild animals as pets in New York has been revoked.
Hirsch, whose painting of Bill Clinton hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, admitted he failed to notify health officials after his capuchin monkey, Benjamin, bit the face of a woman staying at his Catskill, N.Y. bed-and-breakfast in July.

Instead of turning the teenaged capuchin over for a rabies test, Hirsch whisked him off to a Florida retreat for monkeys banished as pets after misbehaving.

The Daily News found Benjamin living at Jungle Friends in September. He died Monday after a six-month bout with cancer.
Still pending is a suit filed by Parvin Hajihossini, 53, against Hirsch in Queens Supreme Court to recover damages for the injuries to her face.

The Queens hairdresser says she could not return to work after the attack because she didn't want customers to be scared by her appearance.

Benjamin leaped out of his backyard cage at the Kaaterskill lodge and attacked Hajihossini from behind, the suit says.
Story Credit Here

A video of Oliver the Chimpanzee AKA Humanzee

Although allot of people think that Oliver's life was interesting, Oliver had a horrible, exploited, life. He once was owned by a woman in NJ by the name of Janet Berger. I meet Janet through having Chimpanzees myself. I would visit her a few times a month. In her living room were framed photos of Oliver and she shared videos of him, along with many stories. One of the stories she told me was that every evening her, her husband and Oliver would all sit in their tiny living room, watch TV, drink beer and smoke cigars. Oliver was removed from their home when he was accused of trying to sexually assault Janet.

My experience with meeting Oliver was when I was doing volunteer work at the sanctuary he resides in. He lives with an older female because she is the only one that will tolerate him. He is totally blind, rocks back and forth quit a bit, and is very vocal. The sanctuary provides his needs, though he still lives in a dark world with many bad memories. I had the opportunity to hand him some greens, hold his hand and touch him gently. It was amazing how gentle he was to a human after what humans had done to him. He, unfortunately was made out to be some sort of freak, this led to him never having a permanent home or ones' of his own kind until he was of no use to anyone. He does now live in sanctuary with one of his own kind, but did not get the true value of life that he so deserved.
Video Here

Kiki, the Chimpanzee has joined Monkey World

Kiki, the 9-year-old female chimpanzee, started her life in the forests of Africa before hunters killed her family and smuggled the infant out of Africa and into The Lebanon.
Sadly Kiki’s story is not uncommon as this brutal illegal trade in man’s closest living relative is documented throughout the world.

Kiki is one of the lucky ones that has been rescued by Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset, England. The adolescent chimpanzee made the 15-hour journey from her small cage in Beirut, on a Middle Eastern Airlines (MEA) flight to London, and onto the Dorset sanctuary where the Monkey World team have been rescuing individuals like Kiki since 1987. To date Monkey World has assisted 19 different governments around the world to stop the illegal smuggling of monkeys and apes from the wild.

Having only been at Monkey World for a week, Kiki has settled in well and is already meeting her new adopted family of 18 other chimpanzees. She has made friends with several other adolescent females and has also met the dominant male in the community, Hananya.

Dr Alison Cronin, Monkey World’s Director and one of the team that rescued Kiki, said “It is amazing to see that after being stolen from the wild and kept in a small cage in solitary confinement for 9 years, her instinct to live with others of her own kind is so strong. Family and friends are the most important part of a chimpanzee’s life and here at Monkey World we give them families and their lives back again. It is great to see Kiki making so much progress so quickly.”

Chimpanzees are an endangered species that are threatened with habitat destruction and bush-meat hunting. The day the Monkey World team arrived in Beirut to organize Kiki’s rescue, the Lebanese government collapsed, yet in spite of political turmoil, the British and Lebanese authorities were committed to the conservation of this endangered species. Monkey World was assisted by NGO, Animal’s Lebanon, to organise Kiki’s transportation.
Story Credit Here

Twin Orangutans born to blind Mom and Dad

Although this is a great story about how mom was given a chance to give birth for her quality of life, the story of Dad is horrible. Bless these 2 little infants so that they can stay with mom and grow up to be released back into the wild. Congrats Mom and Dad
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A blind orangutan at a rescue center in western Indonesia has given birth to a healthy pair of twins.

Gober, an elderly female Sumatran orangutan who is blind in both eyes due to cataracts, lies down with her twin babies at a rehabilitation center in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. The twins were born on Friday Jan. 21, 2011 from both blind parents. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara) (Binsar Bakkara - AP)

Ian Singleton, who works with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, said Thursday that Gober, the mother, so far appeared able to care for the babies herself.

"But vets and staff are ready to step in if necessary," he said, adding that Leuser, the father, also is blind.

There are around 50,000 orangutans left in the wild, 90 percent of them in Indonesia, with more than 2,000 others in rescue centers.

Some of those at centers were seized in the illegal wildlife trade and others orphaned when their mothers strayed from rapidly disappearing rain forests in search of food.

The twins - a boy named Ganteng and a girl named Ginting - were born last Friday.

"It's hoped that both infants will eventually be released to a life in the wild, something that has been denied both their parents due to their blindness," Singleton said.

The twins' mother, who has cataracts in both eyes, was captured by vets two years ago in an area surrounded by palm oil plantations.
They were worried she'd be killed by villagers for routinely raiding crops and took her to the rescue center.
The father arrived in 2006 after he was found outside a village far from a national forest in Jambi province with 62 air rifle shots to his body.

Several pellets were lodged in his eyes, leaving him sightless.
"Normally we try to prevent orangutans breeding at the center," said Singleton.

"But we decided to make an exception," he said, because having babies to care for would dramatically help to improve the mother's quality of life.
Story Credit Here

Orangutan DNA more diverse than human

Researchers have mapped the genome of the red-haired great ape with some surprising results
January 25, 2011 - Among great apes, orangutans are humans’ most distant cousins. These tree dwellers sport a coat of fine reddish hair and have long been endangered in their native habitats in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Now, a team of scientists, led by Washington University, has decoded, or sequenced, the DNA of a Sumatran orangutan. With this genome as a reference, the scientists then sequenced the genomes of five more Sumatran and five Bornean orangutans.

Diversity puzzle

Their research, published in Nature, reveals intriguing clues about the evolution of great apes, including humans, and showcases the immense genetic diversity across and within Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.

Diversity is important because it enhances the ability of populations to stay healthy and adapt to changes.“The average orangutan is more diverse – genetically speaking – than the average human,” says lead author Devin Locke, a geneticist at university’s Genome Centre.

“We found deep diversity in both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, but it’s unclear whether this level of diversity can be maintained in light of continued widespread deforestation.”
The scientists catalogued some 13 million DNA variations in the orangutans. This valuable resource can help conservationists assess the diversity of orangutans both in the wild and in captivity.

The orangutan genome adds detail to the evolutionary tree and gives scientists insights into the unique aspects of human DNA that set man apart from the great apes, their closest relatives. Overall, the researchers found that the human and orangutan genomes are 97 per cent identical.

Slow to evolve but stable

However, in a surprising discovery, the researchers found that at least in some ways, the orangutan genome evolved more slowly than that of humans and chimpanzees, which are 99 per cent similar.

“In terms of evolution, the orangutan genome is special among apes in that it has been extraordinarily stable over the past 15 million years,” says senior author Richard Wilson, director of the Genome Centre.

“This compares with chimpanzees and humans, both of which have experienced large-scale structural changes of their genome that may have accelerated their evolution.”

The genome book
A genome reads much like an instruction book for creating and sustaining a particular species. The chromosomes are the chapters and within every chapter are paragraphs, sentences, words and single letters, which are like the individual bases of the DNA sequence.

“If you are editing a book on your computer, you can highlight a paragraph and copy and paste it, delete it or invert it,” Wilson explains. “Duplications, deletions and inversions of DNA are types of structural variations.

When we look at the genomes of humans and chimps, we see an acceleration of structural changes over the course of evolutionary history. But for whatever reason, orangutans did not participate in that acceleration, and that was a surprise.”

Story Credit Here and please visit their website to find out all of what they do for our wonderful Orangutans

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chimpanzee, Hank was the 7th animal to die in one month at the Chattanooga Zoo

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A necropsy of Hank the chimp will be handled by the UT veterinary school.
The Chattanooga Zoo's most famous resident died in his sleep Monday.

Zoo officials say he showed no signs of illness on Sunday. He ate well, played with guests, seemed normal.

Hank was 42-years old and was brought to the zoo in 1976, after spending time as a performer.
Hank is the seventh animal to die at the zoo in the past month. Several people have raised concerns and zoo managers are reacting.
Animal welfare laws do not require a zoo notify the feds every time an animal dies.
Recent deaths have prompted some, in print to raise issues about care and the zoo facilities themselves.

"We feel of all our animals, he really tells the story of what's gone on at the zoo," says Chattanooga Zoo Director Darde Long.
Hank would spend his final days at the Chattanooga Zoo's showcase Gombe Forest, light years from his life 26 years ago.
"He was probably in the worst condition of any animal at the zoo, a concrete block cage with bars on the front, and bars on the floor," says Long of Hank's living conditions when she started at the zoo.
It's why Long says she understands when zoo lovers raise issues about animal care.
But the concerns also stretch to an inspection by the federal department of agriculture, just before Christmas.

"You won't see any direct, non-compliant issues," says David Sacks with the USDA Animal Welfare, "There's not been a rash of animals not getting the care they need."
But inspectors have taken issue with at least one deer and one sheep. Noting both were thin, in the deer's case, no nutrition records for a year and a half. Long says both animals are old.

"They receive the proper food. Whether or not they can process it becomes a matter of not having good teeth to grind it down," says Long.
Sanitation has been an issue. Specifically, the inspector found parts of stool on a food bowl in the Kinkajou exhibit and mouse droppings amongst the spider monkeys.

"It often happens with the primates that they will poop in their bowl, we try to get them changed out. some will urinate in their water bowl because they want to," says Long.
The fed raised 3 issues with the petting zoo; no attendant, loose fences, and a rabbit pen rife with flies, feces and urine.
Beyond sharp fences in the deer enclosure, the feds say the perimeter fence issue is chronic; decorative barriers could allow zoo animals to escape or unwanted animals inside.

"It took us some time to get a full set of netting we could mesh to that would still provide a barrier," says Long, "We find our dealing with the USDA inspectors very helpful."
The feds make surprise inspections. Chattanooga's Zoo knows to expect a return visit, sometime before late March, mandatory thanks to the fence issue.
Long says the inspectors will find them fixed. The AG department can, in dire cases, suspend or shut down a zoo.
So far, spokesman tells us, his folks have found nothing to warrant a fine, or even a warning letter.
Story Credit here

Gorilla, Lulu has died at the age of 46 at the Columbus Zoo

By Kathy Lynn Gray
The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Lulu the gorilla has died at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The zoo announced the death this morning. The 46-year-old female had a seizure Saturday and stopped breathing yesterday while she was being sedated in preparation for an MRI.

Lulu had lived at the Columbus Zoo since 1984 and was a favorite of zookeepers and the public, said zoo President Dale Schmidt. He said visitors easily recognized her by her pink tongue, which she was perpetually sticking out.

The zoo is performing a necropsy and has asked those who remember Lulu to post thoughts about her on the zoo's Facebook page.


Lulu in 2004
Spokeswoman Patty Peters said Lulu had not been ill until the seizures started, and continued, over the weekend.

The western lowland gorilla was born in Africa and taken to Central Park Zoo in 1966. In 1972, she gave birth to Pattycake, the first gorilla born in New York City.

In Columbus, she had three girls between 1987 and 1991. One was Binti Jua, who became famous in 1996 at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago when she rescued a toddler who had fallen into the gorilla habitat.

After her childbearing years were over, Lulu became a surrogate mother to gorillas whose mothers could not care for them.
Story Credit Here

Jungle Friends has lost their beloved Benjamin, the Capuchin Monkey

Kiewel for NewsBenjamin, a 14-year-old Weeper Capuchin, arrived at Jungle Friends primate sanctuary in Gainesville, Fla. in July after going on the lam after biting a Queens woman.

Kiewel for NewsBenjamin died after a 6-month bout with cancer. Related NewsHunt is on for Allen Hirsch and attack monkey

The cheek-chomping capuchin who went on the lam after biting into a Queens hairdresser's face at a Florida hideaway for wayward monkeys died Monday.

Benjamin the capuchin died after a six-month bout with cancer, according to Kari Bagnall, who runs Jungle Friends in Gainesville, Fla.

The 17-year-old monkey spent his last days getting his face scratched and back rubbed by Jungle Friends workers while enjoying a diet of cooked vegetables, Bagnall said.

"He didn't suffer a lot," Bagnall said. "We knew he was eventually going to die but even knowing it's hard. He was a real sweet guy."

Bagnall took custody of Benjamin this summer when his owner, painter Allen Hirsch, spirited him away from New York to avoid a rabies test that would have required euthanization.

Greene County, N.Y. health officials ordered the test after Benjamin bit Parvin Hajihossini, 53, while she snapped photos of the capucchin during a July stay at Hirsch's Catskill, N.Y. bed-and-breakfast.

Hajihossini is suing Hirsch for her injuries in Queens Supreme Court.

Hirsch is a renowned painter whose work has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. His rendering of Bill Clinton hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials say Hirsch could face criminal charges for failing to prevent a wild animal attack when he returns to the United States.

Hirsch was expected in Florida to visit Benjamin two weeks ago but called to say he couldn't make it back from Venezuela, Bagnall said.

Hirsch and his family have plans to return Benjamin to New York for a ceremony and burial, she said. He could not be reached for comment.

In his final months, Benjamin lived alone in a cage to avoid the stress of living with other monkeys. He was given valium to calm his nerves, Bagnall said.

"We knew he was going to die within months and we didn't want to put him with another monkey," Bagnall said.

Jungle Friends specializes in caring for monkeys banished as pets after biting humans.
Story Credit Here
To visit Jungle Friends Here
12:30, Thursday, January 27, the animal advocacy group, Stop UBC Animal Research will stage “UBC’s monkey death row” to protest the university’s brutal experiments on monkeys. The demonstration will include activists dressed as monkeys in bright orange jail suits and in chains caged in a mock jail cell.

WHO: Stop UBC Animal Research. Contact Brian Vincent at 604-551-3324 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 604-551-3324 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 604-618-1030 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 604-618-1030 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WHEN: Thursday, January 27, 12:30 PM

WHERE: Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street (Robson Street side)

VISUALS: Animal advocates dressed as monkeys in bright orange jail suits and in chains caged in a mock jail cell. Signs that read, ”UBC Monkey Death Row,” “Stop UBC’s Monkey Business,” “Dead Monkey Walking.”

In Ghana The Red Colobus Monkey is going extinct

Takoradi, Jan. 25, GNA - The Red Colobus monkey is almost extinct in th= e country due to destruction of their natural habitat and hunting. Mrs Exorm Ametorelo Erskine, an Assistant Wildlife Officer at the Western Regional Office of the WildLife Division, told the Ghana News Agenc= y on Tuesday that these monkeys used to be in rainforests at Bia and other protected areas in the country but there had been no sign of them for years= ..

Mrs Erskine said the Red Colobus monkey dwelt on tall and big trees which had not been cut down some people hunt the monkeys and illegally export them. She said majority of monkeys help in the dispersal of forest trees. For instance, the Red Colobus eat the fruits of tall trees and drop the seeds somewhere to germinate.

Mrs Erskine said some animals like the elephant also help in the germination of some forest trees.

"If the seeds of such trees do not pass through the digestive system of the elephant, germination is not possible", Mrs Erskine said. She said other endangered animals which are completely protected are Diana Monkey, chimpanzee, Bossman's Potto, Long Tail Pangolin, Bush Baby and lion.
Mrs Erskine said pythons eat animals such as rat, mice, grass cutter, birds and others which destroy crops and therefore help to keep the population of these animals in check. She said, 93All wild animals, be it big or small, has a task to perfor m in the environment and not being aware of their specific function does not mean they are useless," she said.
Sroy Credit Here

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gorilla Baby born at the Taronga Zoo

CRADLED securely in its mother’s arms, Taronga Zoo’s newborn gorilla made its media debut this morning.

The tiny female Western Lowland gorilla was born 10 days ago, on January 15, to mother Kriba and father Kibabu.
It was named Kipenzi, which means ``precious one’’ in Swahili.

Impressive silverback Kibabu, who weights more than 200kg, kept a watchful eye on mum and bub as they ventured out before a group of photographers to have breakfast.

Kriba held Kipenzi in a fast grip, sometimes letting go for a few seconds to scoop up some celery and carrots, with Kipenzi clinging tightly to her skin.

Kriba often wrapped the infant in both its arms, shielding the infant away from the other gorillas.

``She won’t let the others touch the baby yet, they can just watch,’’ primate keeper Lisa Ridley said.

``In the first few hours after the baby was born, Kibabu walked past, put his hand on the baby’s head, and walked off. It was a very touching moment.

``I haven’t seen him touch the baby since and that’s normal. His job is to lead and protect the group.’‘

Kipenzi is Kriba’s fifth baby, and the eight born since the group arrived at the zoo from Holland in 1996.

Kipenzi’s sister Kimya had been especially interested in the newborn.
``She stays close to mum and baby, watching their every move,’’ Ms Ridley said.

``This is an excellent life lesson for Kimya since in the future she will also play a role in the breeding program, and who better to learn from than your mother?’’
Story Credit Here

Monkey, Lucky now back at the Japanese Park

Lucky the monkey is back at a Japanese park after a day on the loose

Last year, Lucky bit more than 100 people, the park says

No injuries were reported from Lucky's escape


Tokyo (CNN) -- After a day on the run, Lucky the monkey ran out of luck.

The infamous primate -- known for biting more than 100 people near Shizuoka, Japan, in the fall of 2010 -- escaped from a Japanese park Monday morning and was captured around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Rakujuen Park in Mishima, Japan.

Lucky, who is about 4 or 5 years old, escaped when her handler opened an inner door of her cage for cleaning without locking an outer door, according to the park.

Officials in Mishima worried that Lucky could pose a danger to residents and instructed them to lock their doors while she was on the loose, city official Hiroo Sugiyama said.

A caretaker at the park captured Lucky with the help of a witness. No injuries were reported, according to the park.

In last year's biting spree, Lucky bit most of the victims on the hands or legs. She has been in the care of Rakujuen Park since October 2010, the park said.
Story Credit Here

Monday, January 24, 2011

Air Canada is shipping lab monkeys in cargo holds of planes

A UK-based animal advocacy group is taking Air Canada to task for allegedly shipping lab monkeys in the cargo holds of planes.

Sarah Kite, a spokesman for BUAV — an advocacy group campaigning to end animal experiments — said Sunday that a whistle-blower at Pearson International Airport complained the airline flew 48 monkeys from China to Toronto over the weekend.

“We’re calling on Air Canada to stop shipping monkeys,” Kite said. “It’s a very cruel industry and Air Canada is playing a very key role.”

Kite alleged the monkeys travelled as cargo from the Chinese capital of Beijing to Toronto on Saturday and were kept in crates for 15 hours after their arrival before being flown to Montreal.

Kite said the monkeys are believed to be headed to a research laboratory in Laval, QC.

Air Canada spokesperson John Reber said the airline will not comment on the nature of its cargo shipments.

Many airlines such as British Airways, United Airlines and Qantas Airways have stopped shipping monkeys, said Kite.
She sent a letter on behalf of BUAV to Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu requesting that the airline join the group.
Story Credit Here

Monkey, Lucky, bites 118 people then escapes

MISHIMA, Shizuoka -- A Japanese monkey that was captured in Shizuoka Prefecture after biting over 100 people has escaped from a park, sparking a warning from local authorities.

Lucky the Monkey

The monkey, named Lucky, escaped from Rakujuen Garden in Mishima on Monday morning. The macaque was spotted near JR Mishima Station, and some 20 city workers launched a search, but were unsuccessful. The Mishima Municipal Government has warned residents to lock their doors, saying there is a possibility the monkey could bite more people.

In a news conference on Monday, city officials said Lucky escaped when a worker cleaning her cage opened an inner door without locking the outer one. At first she remained beside the cage for a while, but workers failed to catch her.

"It was a human error," Rakujuen head Shizuo Sugiyama said in an apology.

Lucky bit 118 people in five cities and one town before city workers captured her on Oct. 10 last year in a resident's home. After naming the monkey Lucky, city workers put her on display at the garden. Souvenirs associated with the monkey were sold and the garden saw an increase in visitors, but Lucky had been losing hair, apparently due to stress.
Story Credit Here

The Story of Travis the Chimpanzee, Sandra Herold and Charla Nash

I have posted thousands of news articles, but this is by far the saddest and hardest story to post. For people to have had such sad and lonely lives is heartbreaking.
Throughout her life, Sandy Herold had long, straight hair so black it almost looked wet. She wore it down below her shoulders, her bangs cut straight across. She applied bright-pink lipstick and copious amounts of bronzer. She wore skintight size-7 jeans. She spoke with a strange accent, a New York–New England hybrid, and spent her entire life in Stamford, Connecticut.

She was born in 1938 to a Jewish mother and Italian father who operated a popular bakery downtown and eventually built an unassuming shingled house on a windy road called Rock Rimmon, to the north of the city. As an only child, Sandy spent much of her time playing with her German shepherd Gretchen and tending to the horses on the property. At birthdays, her parents outfitted her in silk dresses and cardigans and had her pose for photographs, smiling, near multitiered cakes, Gretchen standing at her side.

She married shortly after high school, then again in 1960. Her second marriage was romantic, intense, and desperate—she adored her new husband, with whom she had a daughter named Suzan, in 1961, but they fought violently over his frequent affairs and divorced after four years. At 30, Sandy married her third husband, Jerry Herold, who was kind, intelligent, and devoted. Her life stabilized; she, Jerry, and Sue, whom Jerry raised as his own, ultimately settled in the house on Rock Rimmon Road with Sandy’s parents. Sandy and Jerry opened several businesses in Stamford, including a tow operation and an auto-body shop, that would soon make them unlikely millionaires.

For a time in the seventies, Sandy, Sue, and Jerry towed their horses from state to state so that Sandy (and later Sue) could barrel-race semi-professionally in rodeos. It was during a stint with the country singer Loretta Lynn’s traveling rodeo that Sandy struck up a lifelong friendship with an 18-year-old runaway named Charla Nash, who was rodeoing her way around the country. One day, Sandy and Charla spotted a chimpanzee dressed in Westernwear who rode a horse around the ring. Sandy sought him out backstage. She was carrying gummy bears. He took them from her with his fingers. Later, back atop his horse and wearing a cowboy hat, the chimp spotted Sandy in the audience. He jumped down, ran on two legs, and leaped into her arms.

Between the expanding businesses, the horses in the yard, and their many dogs, the Herolds lived a happily frenetic life. Sue grew into a platinum-blonde version of her mother. The two raced side by side, country-line-danced, worked together at the businesses. Mother and daughter were engaged in one endless conversation. And so when Sue married an employee from her parents’ shop and moved away, Sandy was bitter and heartbroken. Then each of her parents became sick and died. Her world narrowed further. Seemingly all of a sudden, she saw herself and Jerry drifting beyond the outer periphery of middle age.

Jerry was home tending to the businesses as Sandy landed at the Lambert–St. Louis International Airport one day in 1995. A few days earlier, she had received a call from Connie Casey, a breeder in Festus, Missouri, a rural town 35 miles south of St. Louis. “Sandy,” she said, “your baby has arrived. It’s a boy.”

Sandy stood in the Caseys’ living room. In her arms, swaddled and in a diaper, lay tiny Travis—named after her favorite singer, Travis Tritt. Travis was the son of Coco, who’d been snatched from the jungles of equatorial Africa in the early seventies and purchased for $12,000, and an 11-year-old retired zoo chimp named Suzy. A day earlier, the Caseys had shot a tranquilizer in Suzy and removed Travis from her cage. Travis peered up at Sandy. Black hair covered all but the interior of his face, which was pink, and the two tiny Dumbo ears that jutted from the top of his head. Sandy cried as his hands and feet grasped at her. She paid the Caseys $50,000 in cash, and a few days later, with Travis wrapped in baby blankets, the two of them boarded a flight home.

Back in Stamford, Sandy and Jerry played with Travis, who absorbed their smells and cues and began learning their language. Sandy bottle-fed him formula, burped him, put him down for naps in a crib in their bedroom. At 3 months, he turned over. Soon he was scooting, then walking on his arms and legs, his knuckles absorbing much of his weight. They taught him to use the toilet. They joined him in the bathtub. They brushed his teeth, and later taught him to brush his own teeth. Sandy bought him an extensive wardrobe and dressed him every morning.

The Herolds retrofitted their house to accommodate Travis. They caged in a large room in the rear, which had a set of sliders that led to an outdoor enclosure. They installed a heavy, lockable metal door on their bedroom, creating a suite of rooms, including the caged room, where Travis could roam freely when he was left alone. When Sandy and Jerry were home, Travis had the entire house at his disposal, knuckle-running from the couch in the living room to the kitchen, swinging from the tires and ropes in his room, jumping on his bed. The Herolds also laid a mattress on the floor of their bedroom, though most nights Travis slept in bed with them.
Sandy and Jerry took Travis to work with them every day. They installed tire swings, ropes, and trampolines in a giant room above the tow shop. He was inquisitive and friendly. Even the tow drivers and mechanics melted when they saw him.

These were some of the happiest days of Sandy’s life. By then, Sue had divorced her first husband, and she and her young son had returned to Stamford, moving into a spacious loft-style apartment her parents constructed next to the auto-body shop. Sandy and Sue worked together every day, in the room above the tow shop, with Travis. They joked, gossiped, talked about men. Sue’s son, Tyler, and Travis were close in age, and they played well together; as Travis matured more rapidly than Tyler, his fondness for the boy grew, so that he often held him in his lap, kissing him.

Travis grew quickly. Jerry played catch with him and taught him to ride a tricycle (which was awkward at first, what with his long arms), then a bike, then a ride-on lawn mower. Sandy put on a blue bikini and big gold-hoop earrings and took him to the beach, carrying him into the water with her.

Sandy and Jerry invited Travis to join them at the table for meals. He ate oatmeal with a spoon every morning. At their favorite Italian restaurant, Pellicci’s, she read him the menu, offering him choices. His favorite food was filet mignon. He also enjoyed lobster tail. He preferred Lindt’s chocolates. He liked Nerds candy and taffy, and he loved ice cream, hooting and pulling at Sandy when the ice-cream man came down the street. When he was thirsty, he swung his body up onto the counter and took out a glass, opened the refrigerator, and poured himself juice or soda.

Travis had a distinct sense of humor. He’d become particularly impish when Sandy was on the phone talking. He’d change the channels of the remote furiously. He’d blast the volume on the TV. “Cut it out, you little son of a bitch!” Sandy would yell, and then laugh. “I’m gonna kill you, you little bastard!”

“I’ll tell you,” she’d say into the phone, “you should see how smart Travis is. Just today he …” Sandy was ceaselessly dumbfounded by Travis’s humanness. Though she did not know their name, she seemed to intuit the so-called spindle cells in his brain, cells shared by humans and chimps that are believed to help us to process complex thoughts and empathize.

Sandy’s old friend Charla Nash came to visit, bringing with her her young daughter, Briana. They sat outside, Charla playing with Travis, the chimp climbing all over her, messing with her long blonde hair, the two of them posing for pictures. He climbed the tall oak trees around their property, racing up them, jumping from one to the next.

Travis quickly became Stamford’s most famous resident. The Herolds plastered his image on the side of their tow trucks and flatbeds. He sat shotgun on tow calls, waving as the truck pulled up. He came to love police officers especially, and virtually everyone on the force had his photo taken with him. Strangers approached in stores, on the street. Sometimes they handed him their babies to hold.

One fall day, a neighbor was out raking leaves. Across the street, he noticed a Corvette coming down the Herolds’ driveway. It was Travis’s favorite car—he perceived it as his own, Sandy said—and in fact there were rumors that Travis had once taken the keys and gotten behind the wheel, turned the ignition, and, half-standing in the driver’s seat, his opposable-thumbed feet grabbing the pedals, steered the car down the driveway and out onto Rock Rimmon Road. The man raking leaves watched as the car drew closer. Dressed in animal prints and decked to the nines, Sandy was driving, with Travis, in a ball cap and T-shirt, sitting beside her; the windows were down, and each had an arm hanging out. Reflexively, the man raised his hand. Sandy and Travis both waved back.

When Travis was around 5 years old, Sue fell in love and married again. She had two more children. She and her husband eventually decided to relocate near the Outer Banks, where he was opening a mechanic’s shop. Sandy did not take kindly to the news. Again, she felt abandoned; again she disapproved of Sue’s husband. Within a few months, however, Sandy was calling to tell Sue she couldn’t stand not talking every day. She sent money and gifts down to North Carolina. Every note Sue mailed to her mother, no matter how banal, Sandy read repeatedly, showed repeatedly to Jerry, and bound in plastic for safe keeping.

Sue was making repeated trips to Connecticut to retrieve their remaining belongings. On her way home one night in September 2000, Sue, who’d complained of back pain and taken a Percocet, was driving on a mostly empty highway. Somewhere in Virginia, her car left the roadway and collided with a tree. Her infant daughter, strapped in her car seat, was unscathed. Sue was ejected from the car. The phone rang inside Rock Rimmon Road, waking Sandy, Jerry, and Travis, all asleep in bed.

At an open-casket viewing in Stamford, Sue’s body lay in a floral-print dress her mother had bought her. Beside her stood an enlarged photo of her in the same dress, holding her newborn daughter. Sandy was anything but stoic in her mourning. She stalked the room, gasping, and blocked certain visitors from coming inside. “That’s that bastard!” she shouted at Sue’s husband. “If it wasn’t for him my daughter would be alive!”

In the years after Sue’s death, Sandy vacillated between combustible anger and unrelenting depression. She struggled to maintain relationships with Sue’s children. She distanced herself from her friends and at one point considered suicide. Her life was now built almost entirely around Jerry and Travis, and when she finally began venturing out of the house again, it was with the two of them. One bright winter day, they all drove down to the sea. They walked out onto the beach holding hands, in a line straight across; it was Travis who held their dog Apollo’s leash. Sandy now considered Travis her only child.

Travis quickly moved beyond the gangly phases of early adolescence, through puberty, and into early adulthood. One night after work, Jerry was sipping a glass of wine when Travis climbed up into the seat next to him. Travis was interested in what he was drinking. Jerry offered him a sip. Thus began their nightly ritual: a glass of wine, one for Travis, one for Jerry, served in stemware, which they clinked together as Jerry said cheers.

“Sandy,” the breeder said, “your baby has arrived. it’s a boy.”
Travis was also growing more willful. Three years had passed since the death of Sue. It was a warm night in October 2003. Jerry, Sandy, and Travis had eaten a dinner of sausage and peppers and were sitting on the couch watching the World Series. Travis was an avid TV watcher, and he particularly liked sports. All three were cheering for the Yankees. Sandy and Jerry decided they needed to make a trip to the tow shop. They asked Travis whether he had any interest in a ride. It was a rhetorical question.

They were in the 4Runner, stopped downtown at the intersection of Tresser and Washington Boulevards, when someone, for reasons unknown, threw an empty soda bottle into Travis’s partially open window. Travis looked, grunted, unbuckled his seat belt, unlocked and opened the door, and began knuckle-running across the road.

He stood, surveying the area in his extra-large adult diaper (though he was potty-trained, he often wore diapers when he was out). At one point, he lunged at a passerby. And then, all of a sudden, he lay down in the street and began rolling on his back. People in their cars honked and pointed. Traffic at the intersection came to a standstill. Neighbors came out to watch.

Travis was clearly enjoying himself, climbing over cars, hooting, smiling. He chased the dozen police officers who responded to the call for a “loose chimpanzee downtown.” The spectators cheered for him as he evaded capture, smacking several officers on their behinds. Cookies and ice cream could not coax him back. Each time they lured him into the 4Runner, Travis opened the door and got out again before they could lock it. This continued for two hours.

Finally, when he began to tire, Travis climbed into the SUV and buckled his seat belt. No charges were pressed; several of the police officers who knew Travis personally wrote in their reports that his attitude was only playful. They escorted the Herolds home. Travis spent the next day in his room, grounded.

Virtually everyone made light of the escapade downtown. The state Department of Environmental Protection was aware of what happened, and also that the Herolds were in violation of a new statute that required a permit to keep a primate over 50 pounds. But they determined that pressing any action would amount to a most likely unwinnable battle to “take custody of a local celebrity” and opted not to pursue the matter.

Stamford’s animal-control officer was more concerned. After contacting primatologists, she spoke with Sandy, arguing that Travis was by now a fully sexualized adult (chimpanzees in the wild have sex, nonmonogamously, as often as 50 times a day); that he had the strength of at least five men; that adult chimpanzees are known to be unpredictable and potentially violent (which is why all chimp actors are prepubescent); and that maintaining Travis for the duration of his five- or six-decade lifetime was not viable. Sandy seemed to pay an open mind to the officer’s warning but ultimately concluded that Travis had never exhibited even the slightest capacity for violence.

There was one piece of information, however, that Sandy chose not to share with the officer. Two years earlier, the Herolds had received a phone call from Connie Casey, the breeder in Festus. She explained how Travis’s parents, Suzy and Coco, had escaped their cages and, with a third chimp, run across the ranch to a nearby housing development, where a 17-year-old named Jason Coats and some friends were pulling into Coats’s driveway on their way home from the Dairy Queen. Coats claimed the chimps approached his Chevy Cavalier and trapped the teenagers inside, baring their teeth and rocking the car. Coats eventually got out, ran into his house, and grabbed a shotgun. Casey had by then arrived at the driveway and tranquilized Suzy, who was now, according to Casey and several eyewitnesses, sitting at the edge of the road, stoned, fingering the grass and flowers. Casey begged Coats not to shoot. He fired three rounds at Suzy; she died two hours later.

Following several neighbors’ testimony that the chimps were behaving playfully and had posed no threat, a jury found Coats guilty of property damage and animal abuse, and he served a month in jail. Coats nevertheless remained steadfast in his belief that the chimps were dangerous.

The Herolds stopped taking Travis out in public after the incident in downtown Stamford, and they spent most of their time away from work at home with him. One night, over takeout spaghetti dinners at the kitchen table, Travis was sulking. He was sitting next to Jerry, facing away from him. Jerry was eating heartily, after some dental work he’d had earlier in the day. Jerry and Sandy were trying to engage Travis.

“Daddy got his tooth fixed today,” Jerry said. “Look.”
Travis wouldn’t.

“Come on, Trav,” Sandy said. “Look at Daddy’s new tooth.”

Travis turned, glanced begrudgingly.

“Come on, Trav,” Jerry said. “Which tooth had a boo-boo? Which one?”

Travis looked finally. Jerry opened his mouth.

“Which one?”

Travis looked for a second before extending his long index finger. He placed the tip of it directly on Jerry’s left molar. Sandy and Jerry cheered: “That’s the one, Travis! That’s the one!” Travis’s lips curled open around his gleaming white teeth. He bounced in his chair and buried his face in Jerry’s chest.

“Show Daddy your teeth now,” Sandy told him. Travis looked at her, looked at Jerry, puckered his lips again, exposed his teeth, and tilted his head up toward Jerry. Jerry cheered.

“Show Daddy your big tongue now!” Sandy said. Travis opened his mouth and unfurled his giant pink tongue. Once again, they cheered. By now Travis could not contain himself: He smiled broadly and grunted, his shoulders shaking in silent laughter. He patted Jerry on the back. Finally he wrapped his long arm around him.
Occasionally, Jerry complained that he wasn’t feeling well. After playing with Travis one morning in March 2005, he went off to work, where his discomfort sharpened. He asked one of his employees to take him to the hospital.

Over the course of Jerry’s weeks-long stay, during which his doctors tried to arrest his rapidly spreading stomach cancer, Sandy spent virtually every minute at the hospital. One night he said he wanted to talk to her about Travis. He asked her what she would do if he were to die—if it were to become just her, alone with Travis. As much as he said it pained him, he urged her to send Travis to a sanctuary. He told her Travis was too much for her to manage alone. He said it was best for both of them.

When Sandy arrived home from the hospital, Travis smelled her clothing frantically, inhaling Jerry’s scent. He was at first disoriented by Jerry’s sudden absence, then despondent. Several times Sandy put Travis on the phone to talk to Jerry; each time Travis became so upset that she had to take the phone away. Travis sat rocking back and forth for hours. He lifted pictures of Jerry off the wall, put his lips to the glass, held them to his chest. Sandy took them all down and put them in a box. On April 12, Jerry died.

After Jerry’s death, Sandy ignored condolences and stopped speaking to many of her friends. Travis continued his rocking. When she sat on the sofa crying, Travis gently brushed her hair. He bit her nails and used an emery board to file them.

When almost a year had passed, Sandy sat down to write a letter. She drafted it in longhand, and addressed it to a woman in Florida who runs a respected chimpanzee sanctuary. These were the last two paragraphs.

“Needless to say, after 45 years with the most wonderful man in the world we are both lost without him and miss him dearly. Travis still waits for him especially at supper time, because at that time they both had a glass of wine with their supper and if my husband ever cooked anything you can bet it has garlic in it. Try having two guys breathing on your sleep time with (garlic breath). Travis would go to the bedroom window many nights sit on the bench seat look out, get very vocal and happy then come back to sleep, this was always very late at night. Finally I went to psychic and she told me Jerry would visit at night and talk to Travis and my husband would always kiss me good night. P.S. (him and Travis kiss alike) that’s good too.

“I have no family, my only child, Suzan had gotten killed in an auto accident 4 years before Jerry died and who Travis also loved. My grand kids live in North Carolina and I don’t see them very often. I live alone with Travis, we eat and sleep together but I am worried that if something happens to me as suddenly as my husband what would happen to Travis, therefore I have to try to do something before that happens. I set up a trust fund for him but that’s not enough, he needs someone to play with of his own kind and have the best most possible life if I’m not here to care for him. I would love to see and talk to you if that’s possible. I am flying down to see your member event enclosed is our donation. I am looking forward to meeting you.”
She signed the letter, “Sandy (Jerry) and Travis,” and enclosed photos of Travis and the family. She wrote out a check for $250, signing it from both her and Travis. She put everything in a stamped envelope. She never mailed the letter and never made the trip.

Charla Nash and Sandy reunited around the time of Jerry’s death. Charla and her then-12-year-old daughter had lived itinerantly, at one point staying for more than a year in a homeless shelter. Charla had taken odd jobs, picked up occasional yard work, cleaned horse stalls. The reunion was mutually beneficial: Sandy invited Charla and her daughter to move rent-free into the loft apartment that had once been Sue’s. She gave Charla a job, handling towing dispatch and bookkeeping. Over time the terms of Charla’s employment blurred. Charla tended to Sandy’s lawn and would look in on Travis if Sandy was away.

She rarely was. For four years, Travis never left home, and Sandy only sporadically did, aside from compulsive shopping trips: She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, stuffing bags of clothes in dozens of plastic bins that filled almost every room of the house. She and Travis relegated themselves to the kitchen and the suite in the rear of the house. In early 2008, construction was under way on a gigantic new addition that Jerry had designed for Travis years earlier. Travis, by this point, no longer bore much physical resemblance to his former self. He was 14 years old, five feet tall, 240 pounds, and morbidly obese. His hairline had receded dramatically, and his center torso had gone gray. His face was black and wrinkled. His chest sagged. He spent the majority of his days snacking, watching TV, playing on the computer, and roaming the house.

It was February 16, and Sandy and Charla had just returned from a weekend at the Mohegan Sun casino; before leaving, Sandy had taken Charla to get her hair colored and curled, in case, Sandy had joked, two eligible bachelors crossed their paths. Sandy had offered Charla some gambling money. At dinner one night, Sandy had opened her purse and showed the waiter several pictures of Travis. “Do you think he looks more like his mom,” she had asked, “or his aunt?”
Now it was after 3 p.m., and Sandy was in a bit of a panic. She was meeting a friend, and as she’d been cleaning Travis’s room, he’d walked into the kitchen, picked up the keys from the counter, unlocked the door, and ventured out into the yard. He’d seemed agitated for a good part of the day; after eating a lunch of fish and chips and Carvel ice-cream cake, he’d not been particularly interested in watching any of the three TVs that were playing in the house. He did not want to draw or color. He did not want to pet his cat, Misty. Even the smorgasbord of food—the Popsicles in the freezer she’d labeled for him with R for red and F for Fudgsicle, the steam-in-a-bag vegetables he liked to toss in the microwave himself—was unappealing. Sandy, slightly concerned, had dropped a Xanax in his mug of afternoon tea.

She was on the phone with Charla. She told her about Travis. He was outside, she said, running from car to car, apparently wanting to go for a ride; he’d ignored her entreaties to come back inside. Later, Sandy would say that Charla volunteered to come over and help; Charla would maintain she was asked. In any case, Charla arrived at about 3:40, opened the iron gate at the end of the driveway, and drove to the front of the house. She stepped out onto the frozen dirt and grass and held over her face a red Elmo doll she’d thought to bring with her. Travis was in the front yard, about 35 feet away. He knuckle-ran toward her, then came up on his two legs.

“Travis!” Sandy shouted. “Travis! What are you doing? Travis! Stop! Travis! It’s Charla, Travis!”

Travis knocked her into the side of her car. Then to the ground. Almost immediately, Charla turned red with blood. Sandy screamed and grabbed a nearby snow shovel. She ran to Travis and began beating him over the head. He was screaming, too, a terrible high-pitched screech. He continued at Charla, unyielding.

Hysterical, Sandy ran back to the house. She grabbed a butcher knife. She ran back, screaming all the while. As Travis stood over Charla, chewing, ripping, pulling, Sandy plunged the knife into his back. He did not stop. She pulled the knife out and stabbed him twice more, to little effect. Travis stood up finally, turned to look Sandy in the face—directly in the face—then continued.
Sandy ran to her Volkswagen Passat, parked about fifteen feet away. She got in and locked the door. She dialed 911, still holding the butcher knife.

“I live alone with Travis. We eat and sleep together, but I am worried if something happens to me, what would happen to Travis,” Sandy wrote.
“Stamford 911, where’s your emergency?”

“Two-forty-one Rock Rimmon Road, send the police!”
“What’s the problem?”
“Send the police!”

“What’s the problem there?”

“The—that—the chimp killed my—my friend!”
“What’s wrong with your friend?”

Sandy gasped, pressed her feet into the floor of the car to turn around and look, her face pushing the buttons of her cell phone. She sobbed.

“Oh, please! Send the police with a gun—with a gun—hurry up!”
“Who has the gun?”

“Please, hurry up! Please hurry up! He’s killin’ my girlfriend!”

“I need you to talk to me, I need you to calm down. Why do you need somebody there?”
“What? Please, God!”
“What is the problem?”

“He’s killing my friend!”
“Who’s killing your friend?”
“Chimp—my chimpanzee!”

“Oh, your chimpanzee is killing your friend?”

“Yes! He ripped her apart! Hurry up! Hurry up! Please!”

“What is going on? What is the monkey doing? Tell me what the monkey is doing.”

“He—he ripped her face off!”

“He ripped her face off?”

“Gun! They got to shoot him! Please! Please! Hurry! Hurry! Please!”

“Ma’am, ma’am, I need you to calm down. They’re already on their way.”

“I can’t. I can’t … He’s eating her! He’s eating her!”
“He’s eating her?”

“Please! God! Please! Where are they? Where are they?”

It went on for twelve minutes.

When the authorities finally arrived, they saw a body lying mostly naked on the ground, lifeless and covered in nearly half its blood supply. Travis was roaming the property. He made his way to the police car. He swatted off its driver’s-side mirror. He went to the passenger’s side and tried to open the locked door. He walked back around to the driver’s side. He tried the door. It opened.

The officer lurched. He struggled to remove his gun from its holster. His body became wedged against the center-console computer. Travis stared into the car, baring his blood-streaked teeth. In one swift motion the officer at last released his gun and fired four rounds. Travis staggered backward, screeched, defecated, and ran off.

The officer got out of his car. Huge chunks of scalp and fingers lay scattered around the yard. He walked slowly to the body. With the stump of what remained of her arm, Charla Nash reached for his leg.
As another group of officers set out into the woods to look for him, Travis scampered unnoticed into the house. Leaving a trail of blood, he knuckle-walked through the kitchen, the bedroom, and into his room. Then he grasped his bedpost, heaved forward, and died.

Charla Nash’s injuries were overwhelming. Travis had bitten or torn away her eyelids, nose, jaw, lips, and most of her scalp. He’d broken nearly all the bones of her facial structure. He’d fully removed one of her hands and virtually all of the other. He’d rendered her blind.

And yet she did not die. Three days after the attack, in critical condition, Charla was flown by specialized jet from Stamford to the Cleveland Clinic. Fifteen months of intervention followed.

One month after the attack, her family filed a $50 million lawsuit against Sandy.
Sandy was alone.

After weeks of blistering coverage, journalists from around the world—who, hoping to coax Sandy out of the house, had left her flowers, coffee, and sympathy notes—had finally moved on. The reporting had included many inaccuracies, such as the unsubstantiated assertion (which Sandy never disputed) that Travis was the same chimpanzee who had appeared in the iconic Old Navy ads of the nineties and on The Maury Povich Show. The New York Post had accused Sandy of “weird jungle love” and all but said that she and Travis had sexual relations. Even after the press mob had lost interest in her chimp, the allegation that hurt her most was that she’d cared more about Travis than Charla. “I stabbed my own son,” she cried to friends on the phone. For a long time, inside her house, she refused to clean up his blood. She sat a gigantic stuffed chimpanzee in the leather chair in his room.

“I just—you just—you can’t imagine,” she sobbed into the phone late at night. “They cut off his head!” She was referring to the last time she’d seen Travis, when she’d gone to the crematorium to drop off his favorite tie-dyed T-shirt and discovered he’d been decapitated for rabies testing.

She tried to reconstitute her life. She visited occasionally with friends, and made trips to the casino. She continued shopping—much of it for clothes for her three grandchildren that she would end up never sending—until her house became impassable. She sat at her kitchen table and leafed through stacks of mail, old letters, old pictures, doodling Sue’s name on the back of envelopes. She tuned in nightly to Bill O’Reilly. She talked—and cried—on the phone incessantly; the subject was almost exclusively Travis. One of her daughter’s friends helped her set up a profile on; she went on a date with an elderly Stamford man who appalled her by requesting oral sex as they were having dinner.

In the end, all that was really left for Sandy were animals. She put bowls outside for the raccoons. She fed deer in the yard from her hands. And she found another chimpanzee. His name was Chance. She knew she could never bring him back to Connecticut, so she contributed money to a friend out of state, and the two women were to assume a kind of joint custody. One spring day, she sat on a couch in the woman’s mobile home. Chance, about a year old, stretched his young, long body out across her lap. Sandy tickled his belly. He climbed all over her. The two of them snuggled and played. They opened their mouths wide and put them up against each other’s. Sandy’s makeup ran with her tears.

Back in Connecticut one day last summer, shortly before sunset, Sandy was alone, outside, feeding the animals. She looked up. A cloud formation resembling a fish’s backbone was unspooling against the sky. She found her camera, held it up, and clicked.

Sometime later, her chest began hurting. The pain came on quickly and intensified. Frightened, she called a friend, who drove over to her house to sit with her. A hot bath provided no relief. The friend called 911. She put Sandy in her car, in her pink bathrobe and slippers, and drove her down Rock Rimmon Road, to meet the ambulance on its way.

At the ER, tests determined Sandy’s aorta was bulging. She was prepared for emergency surgery. In the operating room, two hours in, Sandy’s lungs filled with blood.

And then they were all gone. All the Herolds were dead.
Last May, Charla Nash was transferred to a long-term assisted-living facility outside Boston. The innumerable cosmetic surgeries she has undergone have accomplished little cosmetically. On her 56th birthday, nine months after the attack, in what will undoubtedly go down as one of the most extraordinary moments in television history, she revealed her face—a bulbous surface of transmogrified skin—to Oprah Winfrey; she told Winfrey she remembers nothing from the attack and is disinclined to worry about how others see her. “I just look different,” she said. “Things happen in life that you can’t change. It’s a tragedy.” She is financially insolvent; her brothers and a team of representatives are apparently shopping two book ideas and weighing several movie deals on her behalf. Her daughter is in her freshman year of college. Through Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she is hoping to become the world’s first face- and double-hand-transplant recipient.

When her brother informed her of Sandy’s death, Charla was shocked.

She said: “Sandra was a troubled woman, and maybe she has some peace now.”

Two-forty-one Rock Rimmon Road remains almost exactly as it was the day Sandy left, held in limbo by order of the court. Rumors abounded after Sandy’s death that along with jewelry, antiques, and other valuables, somewhere in the ramshackle house she had secreted $80,000 in cash, and burglars broke in five times in the first two months. The gigantic addition is frozen in mid-construction, exactly as it had been that February day, its windows still glassless, so that leaves and small drifts of snow blot its unfinished floor. The life-size stuffed chimpanzee still sits in the oversize chair in Travis’s room, gazing out the window to the backyard and the woods beyond it.

A few miles away is a cemetery that has no tombstones. A plot there belongs to the Herolds. Beside Jerry, inside a sealed vault inside a sealed coffin, Sandy Herold wears an animal-print shirt and tight jeans distressed from ankle to hip. Her fingernails are painted pink, and her hands rest atop her abdomen. Against her one side stands an urn containing the ashen remains of her daughter Suzan. On the other, in the same urn she’d slept with every night since that day in February, are Travis’s.
Story Credit Here & Photos

Seems as though Suncoast Primate Sanctaury AKA Chimp Farm seems to have problems with caging and safety

The USDA in the last 2 years have changed their rules in posting inspection Reports of all USDA Holders. Now they only post the last 2 years so I couldn't get all of the awful reports about this horrible place for past that.

You can find out anyone's information by going to this link
This may help you decide where to go and who to donate to. Not these people, that's for sure!!!!!!
I sure would like to speak to the woman that was attacked by the 2 Chimpanzees at this place. I'm sure she could tell some stories!
You can visit and voice your opinion here

58 baby chimps were born at the Suncoast Primate Sanctaury AKA Chimp Farm

This has to be one of the saddest stories I have read in such a long time. While reading and underlining the important facts, tears rolled down my face for the poor animals that these people (monsters) imprison them in. I do wish they would put this up for sale because I certainly would buy them out and make their lives right. I will be doing more on this horrible place!!!!! And to think they left a comment here saying I was an idiot. I can certainly read and learn, which is more than I can say for this Cobb woman.
The Chimp Farm
by Betsy Swart

In PAOLA CAVALIERI & PETER SINGER (eds.), The Great Ape Project

As we paid our $2.25 and walked into Noell's Ark - the Chimp Farm -we passed a woman with three small children. They were standing in front of a barren concrete cage, staring at the lonely chimp inside.

'Hey, you,' yelled one of the children to the chimp. 'Want a peanut? Then DO something.'

'Can't you dance?' yelled another.

The kids giggled and jumped up and down - mimicking chimpanzee movements. But the chimp inside the cage remained silent. He just rocked quietly back and forth - hitting his head very softly against the concrete cage wall. His was a posture of total despair and loneliness.

The woman was about to take her children on a tour of the Farm. I wondered why she would expose her children to such sadness.

'Do you think the animals are happy?' we asked her, gesturing to the long rows of cages containing chimps, monkeys and other animals.

'Oh, of course, they're happy,' she said to me disdainfully. 'What kind of question is that? They're only animals.'

Then she and the children began their tour, past the long, desolate rows of pitiful cages.

Noell's Ark is one of the USA's most notorious roadside zoos. It is owned and presided over by Bob and Mae Noell. The couple got their 'show business' start on the vaudeville stage but soon decided that other sorts of entertainment would be more lucrative for them.

In 1939, they attended the World's Fair. And it was there that Bob first got the idea of using animals in their 'act', which in those days was a travelling medicine show catering to rural eastern and southern populations. Soon after the Fair, he bought a gorilla from a dealer and travelled around the country with this new 'member' of their family. The gorilla was a crowd-pleaser, especially after Bob latched on to the idea of having the gorilla 'box' with humans.
Bob and Mae realised they had a hit on their hands. They began acquiring other animals and eventually breeding them.

Soon they expanded the boxing matches to include chimps as well and travelled around the country pocketing a pretty penny from these make-believe bouts. The chimps they used as 'boxers' were, of course, chained and harnessed and otherwise restrained. But many a human 'he-man' would put his money down to try his strength against a chimpanzee — especially when he knew he couldn't lose.

The Noells' travelling days are over now. But the animals which they acquired during their working years — and many, many more — reside in a roadside concrete jungle near Tarpon Springs, Florida. The Chimp Farm is visited by hundreds of tourists each year. Bob and Mae proudly greet visitors and collect admission fees at the door.

The entrance to the Chimp Farm has a carnival-like appearance with huge signs announcing 'REAL LIVE' chimps, gorillas and alligators. There are even cartoon-like plywood cut-outs of various animals outside the Farm's main entrance. Tourists are encouraged to put their faces in the cut-out holes where animal faces would be and then have their pictures taken. 'See how you would look as a gorilla,' one of the staff calls out to a child climbing up the exhibit.

The same carnival-like attitude toward animals is encouraged on the inside of the Chimp Farm as well. Food in the form of monkey chow and nuts is available at the front desk or through bubble-gum dispensers. People are encouraged to feed the animals. Unfortunately, most feed them anything that they can manage to pitch into the cages and the bored and stressed animals accept the food gladly. There are a few signs posted on the premises to limit tourists' aggressive behaviour, but neither the Noells nor their staff keep a watchful eye out for the animals' health or safety.

During my two visits, I saw tourists give the animals gum, candy, cookies, Coke and even cigarettes.

But it is easy to see why these 'treats' are welcomed by the animals. They live in squalid condithe most barren and tions imaginable. They have nothing to play with — except perhaps their own faeces. Their cages are bare concrete and they are not allowed anything that would interfere with the Noells' clean-up operations, which consist merely of hosing down the cages with the animals inside.

Even a local grocer who offered to donate fruits and vegetables to the animals was refused because these foods make a 'mess' and were deemed inappropriate by the Noells. Except for an occasional tyre hanging from a cage top, there are no psychological enhancements in the cages. Space is minimal. The only animals who are housed together are those the Noells hope to breed. There is no room to exercise for any of the animals; there is no bedding to sleep on; and, in some cases, there is only minimal shelter from the weather.

As I walked along the concrete paths on my tour, I tried to piece together the different animals' histories.

At the entrance to the Farm — as though to entice visitors inside — plywoois a baby chimp in a plexiglass and plywood box. A sign taped to the plexiglass cage proclaims that this baby is the fifty-eighth baby chimp born at the Noells' facility.

The baby spends his day pacing and banging on the walls of his prison. Sometimes he will put his head against the plexiglass, attempting to touch the head of a child on the outside. He is apparently asking for help and companionship that he will never get.

To make things worse, he has nothing to play with except two small worn pieces of carpet. Mae Noell told me that he is 'exercised by a volunteer when one is available'.

But the exercise room was barely larger than the cage.

She also told us that they are proud of their success in breeding animals on the farm. The babies attract visitors, she said. When we asked where the babies go when they are no longer infants, we got the expected answer. Sometimes, she said, it is necessary to sell the babies to provide funds for the upkeep on the rest of the farm.

Who buys the animals? Circuses, zoos and research laboratories.

Further along the walkway is a barren cage containing a chimp named Konga. He was born in 1948 and was one of the Noells' original boxing chimps. In fact, he still has the unremovable chain around his neck to prove it.

He looks old and tired and forlorn, his face wrinkled with age, weather and stress. He begs to tourists as they pass, extending both arms outside the bars in the hope of catching a piece of monkey chow.

Next door there is Johnnie. The sign in front of his cage says he was a former 'show chimp' and that someone has taught him to speak. He very clearly enunciates the syllables 'MaMa' as he extends his hand for a peanut from a passerby.

Then he retreats again to the back of his cage where he sits and rocks endlessly, his eyes fixed perhaps on another world.

Rosie, a former 'pet', is a weary witness to what happens when an exotic animal outgrows a domestic setting. She was once someone's 'baby'. Now she is a prisoner in a dirty cell.

Chimps like Rosie often spend twenty or thirty years in solitary confinement with not one bit of mental stimulation or the touch of another being - simply because they have outgrown the age when they can be safe and cuddly human companions. Rosie's eyes tell the story of pain and loss beyond words.
As pitiful as these animals' conditions are, they are among the most presentable of the animals at the Chimp Farm. They are housed nearest the front of the facility and permitted the closest interaction with the public.

Other animals, such as Cheetah, who, the Noells claim, once performed with Johnny Weismuller of Tarzan fame, have gone insane from confinement. They are hidden from the public by opaque plastic screens. All the public can see are shadows of animals pacing endlessly back and forth.

At the back of the farm, isolated from the public by a chain-link fence, several yards of space, and high cage bars, sit several other chimps whom the Noells consider only semi-respectable.

Some are evidently insane — like Mike who was acquired from a dealer and reputedly came from an especially noxious laboratory experiment. Others are aggressive and throw faeces and food at passers-by.

Some just pace and bite themselves or rattle their cage bars. One chimp simply curls up in a foetal position and no amount of public clamour can elicit a response. She even lies there as they pelt her with food and yell insults. Her eyes are open and she is awake. But she is no longer listening.

These are just a few of the pitiful animals who are imprisoned on the Chimp Farm. Others include baboons, orang-utans, several species of monkey, gorillas, pigs and a huge bear whose cage size is in blatant defiance of both state and federal statutes.
He, and all the others, are doomed to live out the rest of their natural lives in confinement and misery.
The Chimp Farm is just one of several hundred roadside zoos across the United States.

As we were leaving the Chimp Farm, the woman we had talked to earlier in the day approached us again. I thought we were in for another lecture. Instead, she gave us a slightly embarrassed look.

'You know, you were right,' she said. 'These animals aren't happy. They look like mental patients. I won't be coming back.'

As she drove away, I thought that we were just one step closer to the day when everyone would see these places for the pitiful prisons the are.
Story Credit Here

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