© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

OSU Veterinarians Head To Texas Facility Following Death of Chimp.

An Ohio State spokesman says the university is sending two animal specialists to a primate refuge in San Antonio. The veterinarians were sent after one of nine chimpanzees transferred this week died. Some animal rights groups have criticized the choice of the facility.

The 25-year old chimp named Kermit died on Thursday after being sedated by a veterinarian, according to an OSU spokesman. Earle Holland says the 300-pound animal was about to be transferred to new quarters.

"Sometime during that process Kermit's head fell forward and it may very well have restricted his respiratory system - his windpipe - and closed off his air source," Holland says.

Holland says CPR was administered but Kermit did not recover. The university is sending two of its veterinarians to examine the eight remaining chimps that had been cared for by Professor Sally Boysen before the chimpanzee research facility was closed on Monday.

"We believe very strong that there is an obligation that we have to the public and to the animals and certainly to Dr. Boysen to do anything and everything that we can to completely understand what the circumstances were and to reassure us and everyone else concerned that the remaining animals are in a good situation," says Holland.

OSU's decision to send the 9 chimpanzees to the Primarily Primates sanctuary has been criticized by animal rights groups. Members of Protect Our Earth's Treasures demonstrated outside this morning's meeting of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees. Rob Russell is the group's director.

"Kermit was alive for 23 years under the care of Sally Boysen. 48 hours after OSU wipes their hands and says goodbye to the primates, Kermit is dead in Texas. It is ridiculous that this is what happened," Russell says.

The university says the chimpanzee's necropsy will be reviewed by Ohio State veterinarians.