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The testing began shortly after Bobby’s first birthday. By the time he was 19 he had been anesthetized more than 250 times and undergone innumerable biopsies in the name of science. Much of the time he lived alone in a cramped, barren cage. Bobby grew depressed and emaciated and began biting his own arm, leaving permanent scars.
Bobby is a chimpanzee. Born in captivity to parents who were also lab chimps, he grew up at the Coulston Foundation, a biomedical research facility in Alamogordo, N.M., that was cited for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act before it was shuttered in 2002. He is one of the lucky ones. Today he lives in a sanctuary called Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Fla., where he can socialize and roam freely. Last year the National Institutes of Health announced plans to put some 180 ex-Coulston chimps currently housed at the Alamogordo Primate Facility back in service, to rejoin the roughly 800 other chimps that serve as subjects for studies of human diseases, therapies and vaccines in the U.S., which is the only country apart from Gabon to maintain chimps for this purpose.
Read more at ScientificAmerican.com
April Truitt, who runs the Primate Rescue Center in Jessamine County, is sending that message to movie director Cameron Crowe in a plea not to use monkeys or apes in any more films.
Truitt and others who operate similar sanctuaries for abandoned or neglected animals say they're concerned that the use of a Capuchin monkey in Crowe's new movie, We Bought a Zoo, will cause the public to buy the creatures as pets, only to cast them off when they become too difficult to tend.
"Monkeys and apes are adorable as babies, but the novelty soon wears off and they grow into strong adults who are strong-willed, naturally curious and destructive, and capable of causing some pretty severe injuries," members of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance wrote to Crowe in a letter this week.
Read more at the Lexington Herald-Leader