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Former OSU Chimps Should Be Moved Says Court Investigator

A court-appointed trustee in Texas is recommending the transfer of several primates formerly used for research at Ohio State University. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Primarily Primates, a San Antonio area sanctuary that took possession of 9 OSU chimpanzees and 3 monkeys last winter.

The transfer of the animals from Ohio State to the Texas sanctuary came over the objections of Sally Boysen, an OSU researcher who had worked with the primates for years. Two of the 9 chimpanzees died from heart ailments after their relocation to Primarily Primates and one of the monkeys escaped. According to PETA counsel Leana Stormont, two older female chimps are seriously malnourished.

"Primarily Primate's facilities don't even rise to the level of being substandard," Stormont said. "We have two dead chimps, Kermit and Bobby, one escaped the day she arrived. Two are close to death. Their circumstances could not be more dire."

Ohio State spokesman Earle Holland says university officials believe appropriate treatment is being provided to the chimps that have lost weight. Holland said reports about the monkey's escape are conflicting.

"We've heard mixed reports about that monkey," Holland said. "That it escaped and its whereabouts are unknown; that it escaped and it's living in a nearby tree and the people at the refuge know where it is. Frankly we don't know which is true or if something else is true."

A trustee appointed by a Texas court is recommending the Ohio State animals be moved to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana. Holland says OSU officials were surprised by the trustee's recommendation. Chimp Haven, according to Holland, had been an earlier choice for the animals' relocation.