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March 7, 2009 - Primates in the News

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

As you can imagine, we have been very busy here at Jungle Friends. Not only are we short-staffed and under funded, we have been receiving calls nearly every day about 'pet' monkeys in need of a permanent sanctuary home. We are desperately looking for new and innovative ways to fundraise in this uncertain economy, so if any of you have any ideas, please send them our way, and if you don't have any ideas, please send money! I can't express how much we appreciate all of you who are going through tough times yourself and continue to donate to our cause. You are the best!!

I have been getting a lot of media calls and attention with the recent primate tragedies. One of the interviews was on Fox News; a friend taped it for us and you can watch it here. The Gainesville Sun newspaper article is online here.

My Florida Showcase also did a great job when they filmed out here last month... you can watch that segment here.

Our Florida Week for the Animals event was great; thank you to all who participated and a special thanks to Veg4Life Gainesville who provided the vegan feast! I also want to thank all of you for the donations in honor of my birthday last month and thank those of you who have been helping us with Darwin's health issues. And finally, a great big thank you to Alyssa who nominated us for the SPCA grant we were awarded!

Don't forget the Brogan Museum Monkey Art Exhibit opens on the 17th! I will be there to give a presentation on March 21st,and the art will be on display through April; if you are in the Tallahassee area, be sure to come out. You will find more information on our event calendar.

I promise to give you additional updates on what has been happening at the sanctuary and respond to my backed-up emails just as soon as I have a moment to take a breath! Meanwhile, I am forwarding my friend April Truitt's very informative news posts (below) to you to keep you abreast of what is going on in the primate world as a whole.

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks

Please forward this to everyone you know!

Dear Kari,
It's unofficial: March is "Primate Month!" Never before have there been so many developments - on so many levels - in such a short period of time. A bright spotlight is focused on the primate world, and progress seems inevitable. Let's all hope that when this wave of media and legislative activity subsides, in it's wake we'll experience very real and lasting change in how we humans perceive - and protect - our closest cousins.

HSUS calls for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to take action at the New Iberia Research Center. HSUS has identified 26 older chimpanzees it would like Jindal to send to Chimp Haven, a federally funded chimpanzee facility in Shreveport.
WAFB.com: Humane Society Asks For Help

The New Iberia Research Center comments on the undercover video investigation conducted by HSUS.
theadvertiser.com: University Of Louisiana Fights Back

Proposed legislation in the state of Connecticut would ban the keeping of primates and a list of other exotics in private homes. The Department of Environmental Protection would administer the new regulations and would have the ability to remove and relocate banned animals.
Hartford Courant: Pet Ownership Laws Questioned

Charles Siebert addresses the human fascination with chimpanzees and the psychological damage we inflict when keeping them as pets or using them in entertainment.
New York Times: Something Wild

The Great Ape Protection Act, championed by NEAVS, was reintroduced in Congress today. The proposed bill was introduced in the 110th Congress in April 2008, but failed to make it out of committee.
Project R&R: Great Ape Protection Act Reintroduced

Jeanne Rizzotto, seen with her two chimps Monday on the Today Show, was back in court yesterday. Rizzotto was facing felony charges for the bad check she wrote to exotic animal dealers Mike and Connie Casey.
Billings Gazette: Chimpanzee Owner On TV, In Court

Actress Bo Derek spoke with Bill O'Reilly about exotic pets and the use of wild animals in entertainment. Derek suffered minor injuries from her work with chimpanzees and lions on the set of Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981). Derek hopes Hollywood will replace the use of live animals with animation in the future, citing the recent Will Smith film I am Legend.
Bill O'Reilly Show: Bo Derek Against Owning Wild Animals

The Humane Society of the United States has released footage captured by an undercover investigator working at the New Iberia Research Center. Located on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the NIRC houses nearly 6,000 monkeys and 325 chimps. Captured over a nine month period, the footage documents routine mistreatment and abuse of the primates by NIRC staff.
HSUS: Undercover Investigation

ABC's Nightline will feature footage captured by an HSUS undercover investigator and speak with her about her experience at the NIRC. The segment will air tonight on ABC at 11:35PM EST.
ABC News Nightline: Humane Society Investigation

NPR's Talk of the Nation will host primatologist Jane Goodall to discuss exotic pet ownership in the wake of the chimpanzee attack in Connecticut.
National Public Radio: Should Exotic Animals Be Kept As Pets?

After passing in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Captive Primate Safety Act (CPSA) moves to the Senate. Currently the bill is in committee, but we will keep you posted as S. 462 moves forward.
Summary of HR 80 - Captive Primate Safety Act

As proposed, the CPSA will grant USDA licensees significant exemptions. Licensee lists available on the APHIS website allow you to search for U.S. license holders and request their inspection reports. When looking for exotic pet owners and breeders, direct your attention to Classes A, B & C. Who Will Be Exempt?

The discussion continues as the bill moves into the Senate. President of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, comments in the linked article below.
Newsday.com: Pass The Primate Act

Jane Goodall continues to speak out about the use of chimpanzees in entertainment. In the linked Los Angeles Times article, she also highlights their endangered status and loss of native habitat, indicating their fate is intimately tied to ours.
L.A. Times: Jane Goodall Speaks Out

USA Today reports on the response of local governments to a spate of violent and bizarre animal incidents.
Local Governments Confront Dangerous Pets

Letter to the Editor is published in the Lexington ( Ky.) Herald Leader. Written by April Truitt, the letter directs shame to the owner of Travis and the companies that used Travis in their television commercials.
Lexington Herald Leader - Letter to the Editor

Lexington Herald-Leader publishes story by Greg Kocher re: April Truitt's attempts to encourage Sandra Herold to place Travis in a sanctuary after high-profile escape in 2003.
CT Chimp was "Ticking Time Bomb"

Associated Press reporter John Cristoffersen interviews April Truitt re: Travis and Sandy Herold. Story hits AP wires at 6PM and appears on various news websites coast-to-coast.
Sanctuary warned CT chimp owner about dangers

New York Times runs editorial re: Travis
NY Times: Primates Aren't Pets

The House of Representatives passes H.R. 80, the Captive Primate Safety Act, early Tuesday afternoon. Click the link below to watch C-Span coverage of the action. The clip has been shortened to show only the vote on the Captive Primate Safety Act.
U.S. House passes Captive Primate Safety Act

The Captive Primate Safety Act
The bill amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, by prohibiting the import, export, transport, sale, receipt, acquisition, or purchase of any live non-human primate through interstate or foreign commerce.
Exceptions are made for transport across state or international borders for veterinary care, transfer of a non-human primate upon the owners death, and the transport of primates for use in assisting permanently disabled persons with severe mobility impairments.
Click here to view the bill in its entirety.

The National Post continues their coverage of Travis the chimp's attack of Charla Nash and the progression of the Captive Primate Safety Act.
National Post: The War On Chimps

The U.S. House of Representatives heard debate Monday afternoon regarding H.R. 80, the Captive Primate Safety Act. Many arguments were presented in favor and against the resolution. Proceedings were suspended due to lack of quorum. Click the link below to view C-Span coverage of the debate.
U.S. House debates Captive Primate Safety Act

The Primate Rescue Center works with reporters from the NY Daily News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in developing stories about the origin of Travis the chimpanzee. Both papers connect Mike and Connie Casey to Sandra Herold and feature information about the shooting death of Travis' mother Suzy in 2001. Click the links below to view the stories.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NY Daily News

The National Post ran an article last weekend that we failed to share with you in our previous communications. It's well written and we thought you would appreciate the passion displayed within.
National Post: Travis The Chimp Was Not Crazy

April D. Truitt
Executive Director
Primate Rescue Center, Inc.

Florida Week for the Animals
Special Volunteer Day

February 14, 2009

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who participated in our special volunteer day! And a very special thanks to Veg4Life Gainesville for providing a delicious vegan feast to feed the hungry volunteers!