Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 23rd, 2006
The facility that is the home of Oliver, the famous once-bipedal chimp, was seized by the Texas Attorney General’s office on Friday the 13th of October. I detailed the plight of Oliver and the other animals there at Primarily Primates here on Cryptomundo back in May.
From last Sunday’s San Antonio Express-News:
At one time, Primarily Primates was a sanctuary for some of America’s greatest pioneers in science: chimps subjected to sleep deprivation, arthritis studies or brain tests, all part of experiments touted for the good of humankind.
But nearly three decades after its founding, the refuge looks nothing like the animal retirement home whose managers once counted game show host Bob Barker and Walt Disney Productions among its donors.
Now the shriek of animals and the smell of urine fill the air. There is no septic system on the property and the heating system doesn’t work, according to officials close to what has become a controversy there.
Most primates sleep on hard concrete and stare out between the bars of their cages, packed together on property that is still concealed from its residential neighbors in far Northwest Bexar County behind the thick Hill Country foliage.
Circumstances at the facility came to light Friday after the Texas attorney general’s office placed the site under court-ordered management. State officials cited the deplorable conditions and mismanagement of donations.
"That was these animals’ lucky day," said wildlife preservationist Lee Theisen-Watt, named receiver of Primarily Primates.
She will oversee the site and determine how best to rehabilitate it.
Hopefully, the animals there at the facility will see some better days ahead.