Neglected Chimps & Monkeys: State Takes Over Animal Sancuary
The Air Force Chimpanzees at Primarily Primates--From Celebrated to Neglected
In 1999, 30 chimpanzees who had been retired by the Air Force came to Primarily Primates, Inc. (PPI), in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1998. When court-appointed inspector Todd Bowsher went to PPI in June 2006, he noted that the Air Force chimpanzees had suffered a high mortality in their seven years at PPI--he estimated a 50 percent death rate.
Betty and Lynn were two of the Air Force chimpanzees. Both were captured in the wilds of Africa, taken from their mothers. Lynn's Air Force profile says that she loves having different objects to play with and that she loves all foods, especially fruits and breads. Betty's profile said that her favorite objects are paper and nesting materials and that she loves all foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Neither Betty nor Lynn received these simple--but to them enormously pleasurable--things once they got to PPI.
The Air Force had endlessly used Betty as a breeder, so one would assume that PPI, a sanctuary, would ensure that she couldn't get pregnant. Yet in August 2004, Betty delivered a full-term stillborn infant. It was not her first baby at PPI. Betty was obviously sick but was never seen by a veterinarian. On or around September 4, 2004, Betty grew too weak and sick to do anything but lie down in her enclosure, in her own feces, to die. A PPI volunteer provided PETA with an affidavit and a tragic photograph showing Betty in the hours leading up to her death. The volunteer told us that what couldn't be seen in the photo were fire ants swarming over Betty's body, stinging and biting her. Workers shot her three times in the head because Wally Swett claimed that the veterinarian could not come out to euthanize her. That claim was later found to be false. Read the affidavit of Lee Thiesen-Watt.
Lynn was purportedly euthanized on March 28, 2006. Lynn had a degenerative spinal condition that caused paralysis. Her hind feet had lesions on the knuckles because of 'drag friction.' Lynn's autopsy showed that her back was broken and that her tongue was covered with the nematodes of insects who had already invaded her body. Lynn had obviously been suffering for a long time and was desperately in need of veterinary care or euthanasia.
PETA has written to the Air Force asking it to reclaim the chimpanzees who still survive at PPI. Please write to:
Mr. Terry Jaggers