by Greg Harrison
It has now been over 2 weeks since we received the email informing us of Louie’s passing, and while the grief, emptiness, and sadness is still unbearable at times, in those moments when we have some time to ponder lucid thoughts, all we are left with are many, many questions….and no answers.
Judie has always given you, her readers across the globe, the opportunity to probe and discuss while learning about apes and monkeys ion ways no other site on the internet provides. Her point of view is like no other, as we have owned primates, worked with primates, and when challenged with the ultimate questions that have confronted so many private owners before us – “What do you do when you know they can’t be with you any longer?” – We answered with what we thought at the time was the correct thing to do – and we placed them.
Here is a link to the story that was posted on the internet - fed by a press release by the PR folks at the zoo – and not really reported on. Take a quick second to read the link below, and then save the link so you can follow along with the tale:
Now that Louie has passed on from this world, and we have begun the grieving process, this blog would like for you readers to take a few minutes and ponder the questions that are running through our collective brains today:
1. Why weren’t we informed that Louie was sick? Why weren’t we asked for any of the “gen etic records” that the press release claims that could have “aided in the diagnosis” of Louie’s disease?
2. The zoo knew where the chimps were born. We discussed that with them at length before they went there. Why didn’t the zoo veterinarian call the facility, or us, to discuss her needs?
3. What resources did the vet tap into across the world for help with Louie’s condition? Did she call the CDC? Did she call the NIH? Was there any investigation into this condition?
4. The following link, easily found in a 30 second search on the internet, quotes a world renowned researcher, Dr. Alessio Fasano at the University of Maryland “"Apes, monkeys and chimpanzees rarely develop autoimmune disorders…” – so why was the zoo veterinarian convinced that what Louie had developed was indeed an AID?
5. Was there an environmental trigger at the zoo that, if Louie had been born with this condition would have triggered his response? We find it very coincidental that this same zoo, in the past three years, has had three infants die, and now 7 year old Louie die. Chimps are very hearty, durable animals. Louie had maybe had two colds in his whole life before he got to Little Rock. He had a great appetite, was as strong as an ox, and in this picture taken at the zoo in June (found on Flickr by us last month) he looks pretty good – maybe even a little heavy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30866950@N07/5915794195/sizes/o/in/photostream/
6. Lastly – we have asked the USDA to investigate the treatment and care that Louie received from the zoo in the past several months. Now we know by reading this blog that this poorly run governmental agency has had its own disagreements with Judie and I – but we must try to find a way within ourselves to trust the system to do the right things and investigate his death the right way. We promise to keep you readers informed of the progress of things from here on out, and we are going to be working on a tribute site to Louie where readers will be able to see many pictures of Louie, his media work, and some real good stories that we will share with you.
Thank you all for your readership