Monday, February 28, 2005

Indian woman breast feeds monkey

Speaking of all the wonderful monkey porn going on in the news, Yahoo has these posted these wonderful pictures of a woman in India who has brought attention to herself by breast feeding her 5 year old monkey. Enjoy.





Story here.

Two New Viruses Belonging to AIDS Family Found Among People Who Hunt Monkeys

American scientists said Friday that they had discovered two new human viruses in Africa that belong to the same family, retroviruses, as the virus that causes AIDS.

So far, the scientists said, the new viruses have not been linked to any disease, but they are being monitored out of concern that they or similar retroviruses might conceivably spawn another epidemic.

The viruses, found in rural Cameroon among people who hunt monkeys and other primates, were probably transmitted from the animals through blood from bites and scratches received in hunting, butchering and keeping the primates as pets, the scientists said at the 12th Annual Retrovirus Conference, which ended here on Friday.

The discoveries arose from studies undertaken out of concern that another retrovirus could emerge to mushroom into another global pandemic like AIDS. Many scientists say they believe that H.I.V., the AIDS virus, mutated from a simian virus that was transmitted from nonhuman primates to hunters and then spread widely through sex and contaminated needles.

Story here.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

City chooses dogs to fight monkey menace

Plagued by monkeys creating 20 million yen in crop damage yearly, Omachi Municipal Government has turned to dogs for aid, setting aside money to train canines to combat marauding macaques, Omachi officials said.

Omachi's 2005 fiscal year budget will include an allocation of 630,000 yen to be used to train four dogs that will be put to work stopping monkeys from stealing crops.

Japanese legend puts dogs and monkeys as traditional rivals in much the same way the West regards canines and felines as permanent enemies.

"This has gotta be the first time a municipality has come up with the idea of using dogs to fight monkeys," an Omachi spokesman said.

Under Omachi's "Monkey Dog" project, the four dogs will undergo about three months instruction at the Nagano Prefectural Police Dog Training Center. They will be taught to chase off monkeys on sight, strictly avoid harming humans and return to their handlers after driving away the simians.

"We've got to make sure the dogs are taught how to repel fierce attacks from the monkeys without hurting them," the spokesman said.

If the first four dogs put on monkey watch prove to be a success, more funds will be allocated to train even more canines.

Japanese macaques are blamed for causing over 20 million yen in damage yearly in Omachi. It has tried a number of other unusual steps to counter the simians, including setting up electric fences and shooting at them with firecrackers, but none of the measures has proved effective.

Omachi Mayor Yoshimasa Koshihara hopes the dogs will provide the city with an ultimate solution.

"Legend has it that dogs and monkeys are enemies," he said. "Let's hope it works."

Story here.

Third Woman Sues Over Koko's Breast Obsession

Another former employee of the Gorilla Foundation has filed a lawsuit saying that she was repeatedly forced to partially disrobe in front of Koko the "talking" ape.

Redwood City resident Iris Rivera, 39, revealed her breasts to Koko seven or eight times in a two-month period last summer, according to a suit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court this week -- seven days after a similar legal claim from two San Francisco women who also had worked for the internationally known Woodside nonprofit.

Unlike Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, who ignored foundation President Francine Patterson's pressure to expose themselves, Rivera acquiesced.

"She took it as a disagreeable duty of her employment," said Rivera's lawyer, Michael Adams, in a phone interview.

Redwood City attorney Todd Roberts, representing the Gorilla Foundation, said, "We're confident there's no merit to either of these lawsuits. We are not going to dignify the allegations with a response."

He said the foundation's position was exactly the same as the statement posted on its Web site in regard to last week's lawsuit.

"We unequivocally deny the hurtful allegations of the lawsuit and intend to vigorously defend the case through trial, if necessary," the statement said in part.

Rivera was hired as an administrative assistant in February 2004 but wasn't introduced to Koko until June.

"To Rivera's shock and surprise, Patterson informed Rivera that Koko was communicating by sign language that 'she wants to see your nipples,' " the suit alleged. "When Rivera expressed her incredulity at the apparent request, Patterson pressured Rivera to comply, telling her, 'Everyone does it for her around here' and telling Koko to 'calm down' and 'just give her time.'

"Rivera then reluctantly raised her T-shirt briefly to reveal her bra, but Rivera admonished her that Koko 'wants to see the nipples (italicized in the suit).' Rivera grudgingly complied. Patterson then exclaimed, 'Oh look, Koko, she has big nipples.' "

The sessions ended in August, Adams said, after what he described as a particularly unsettling encounter.

Story here.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Monkey Naming Race Is Off!

The "Name that Monkey" Auction has officially started. Bidding begins at $5000 and the auction ends March 3rd at 7pm EST. Check the auction here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Heart Monkey Pron!

In response to all of the recent news regarding deviant simians, Monkey Day has leaked a new clothing design. Enjoy.

Clue Found to How HIV Invades Cells From A Monkey Virus

Scientists said Wednesday they have discovered a key clue to how HIV mutates to evade the immune system that could advance the search for new drugs and a vaccine.
Researchers at the Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in the United States have shown that the virus, which has infected 40 million people worldwide, alters its shape and triggers changes that allow it to enter cells.

They obtained a three-dimensional image of a protein called gp120, part of HIV's outer membrane or envelope, before it transforms and binds to so-called CD4 receptors on the cells it wants to infect.

"Knowing how gp120 changes shape is a new route to inhibiting HIV -- by using compounds that inhibit the shape change," Stephen Harrison, head of the research team, said.

Peter Kwong, of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, described the research as a "technical tour de force" because scientists have sought the structure of the gp120 protein before it binds to CD4 receptors for almost 20 years.

"In terms of vaccine design, the structure ... reveals the envelope at its potentially most vulnerable," he said in a commentary.

Antiretroviral drugs can prolong the lives of AIDS sufferers but they are expensive and beyond the reach of millions of people in the developing world.

A vaccine is considered the Holy Grail in the battle against the AIDS epidemic but efforts to find one have been hampered by HIV's ability to mutate.

"The findings also will help us understand why it's so hard to make an HIV vaccine, and will help us start strategizing about new approaches to vaccine development," Harrison explained in a statement.

Scientists had already deciphered the structure of the protein after it binds to the cell it wants to attack. The findings published in the science journal Nature provide information about how the molecule rearranges itself before it attacks.

"We can now compare the bound and unbound forms and try to understand whether there are any immunologic properties that differ and that might provide a route to new vaccine or drug strategies," said Harrison.

The scientists uncovered the shape of the unbound protein by aiming an X-ray beam through a crystallized form of gp120 from a monkey virus similar to HIV.

Story here.

Park owners deny negligence when a chimpanzee bit off a woman’s hand.

A local animal park has denied any negligence or responsibility in an incident where a chimpanzee bit off much of a woman’s hand.

In January, Carol Baker filed suit against the Wild Wilderness Drive-Thru Safari in Gentry.

According to the complaint, Baker was at the safari on Oct. 9, 2004. She was feeding animals. She was preparing to feed a chimpanzee when the animal reached through the bars of its cage, grabbed Baker’s clothing and pulled her into the cage.

Springdale attorney James Crouch recently filed an answer to the suit. In the answer, he denied any negligence or responsibility on behalf of the safari. Crouch asked for the suit to be dismissed.

Crouch admits Baker was bitten by a chimp, but claims Baker’s injuries were caused by her own contributory negligence.

The suit alleges that the chimpanzee grabbed Baker’s left arm and hand, then bit off much of her hand, including two fingers.

The suit states the chimpanzee is owned by the safari and the business is liable for the actions of its animals. The suit claims the incident was a result of the safari’s negligence.

The suit claims Baker sustained injuries which are permanent, and she incurred disfigurement and scarring. She also seeks damages for past and future medical bills; pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life; and loss of past and future earning capacity.

The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Story here.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Gorilla Foundation rocked by bestiality breast display lawsuit

Koko the Gorilla seems to smile as she considers eating a kitten.

Two former employees of the Gorilla Foundation, home to Koko the "talking" ape, have filed a lawsuit contending that they were ordered to bond with the 33-year-old female simian by displaying their breasts.

Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, both of San Francisco, are taking on the Woodside nonprofit and its president, Francine "Penny" Patterson.

Their lawsuit, filed Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court, alleges sexual discrimination, wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting health and safety violations, and failure to pay overtime or provide rest breaks.

It seeks more than $1 million total in damages for the two women.

The suit follows complaints filed by Alperin and Keller in January with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in which they gave identical reasons for why they were fired: "I refused to expose my breast to perform acts of bestiality with one of the gorillas."

The lawsuit goes into more detail.

One example: "On at least two incidents in mid-to-late June 2004, Patterson intensely pressured Keller to expose herself to Koko while they were working outside where other employees could potentially view Keller's naked body. ... On one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.' "

Todd Roberts, a partner in the Redwood City office of Ropers Majeski Kohn Bentley, which is representing the Gorilla Foundation, said the law firm was still reviewing the suit.

"But I can tell you that based on our review of the factual allegations and characterizations in the complaint, we deny those allegations," Roberts said.

A call to Patterson and the Gorilla Foundation was not returned.

Story here.

Stolen Cardboard Monkey 'Whiplash' Returned


A teenage thief came clean with the monkey called Whiplash Thursday night.

A cardboard cutout of the monkey known for riding a dog at rodeos was stolen from Taco John's last week.

After the story aired at 5 p.m. on KMBC, Whiplash was returned.

"I was on the register taking orders and he walked in and set it down here on the counter and said, 'Sorry for stealing this,' and turned around and left. His dad was standing behind him," nightshift manager Ginger Fleming said.

KMBC reported that the boy's dad may have done some encouraging. The cardboard cutout of Whiplash will be auctioned off for charity in the coming weeks. It will stay locked in the back office in the meantime.

Story here.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

BBDO under attack for using chimp in new Pepsi spot

typical monkey teamsters on the job

The BBDO Network is facing criticism for using chimpanzees in its latest commercial for Pepsi Max. It follows a controversial ad for Halfords that also featured chimps and was withdrawn in 2003 following complaints.

In "monkey taxi", a man jumps into a cab and is thrown a can of Pepsi Max by the front-seat passenger as it is revealed that the driver is a chimpanzee. The terrified man takes a swig of his drink as the monkey speeds off recklessly through the city.

The ad, made by French agency CLM BBDO, has been criticised by leading conservationalist Dr Jane Goodall and the Captive Animals Protection Society, which is threatening to boycott all Pepsi products if the commercial is not withdrawn.

Craig Redmond, campaigns officer for CAPS, said: "Chimpanzees and other great apes used in commercials often live a miserable life of restriction and violence. They are only used at a young age because they become too difficulat to handle after adolescence, so they are ripped from their family to be trained and made to perform."

Story here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Harrington disrupted by laser wielding monkey


Padraig Harrington's preparations for a first tournament of the new year was spoilt when a monkey escaped with a laser gun as he practised for this week's Malaysian Open.

The Irish golfer was playing a practice round on the host Saujana course in Kuala Lumpur when one of the club's notorious monkeys scampered off with sophisticated technical equipment Harrington uses to pin-point yardages.

"One minute we had the range-finder on the tee box and the next thing it's nestling in the branches of a nearby tree," Harrington said.

Monkeys have long played havoc with golfers on the Malaysian course. Many members have returned to their golf cart to find such items as mobile phones, soft drinks and golf balls missing. For Harrington it was an unwelcome disruption after his break from competition of almost two months.

Story here.

Kenya seizes smuggled baby chimps

A Kenya Wildlife Services worker holds a rescued baby chimpanzee at the KWS headquarters in the Kenya capital Nairobi. Authorities battling global wildlife trafficking found six baby chimpanzees crammed into a crate at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta airport in their biggest ever seizure of the endangered primates and warmed over feces.

Kenya has made its biggest seizure of primates in the battle to stop trade in endangered wildlife with the discovery of six baby chimpanzees crammed into a crate at an airport, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said.

The chimps, with a black market value of $US20,000 ($NZ28,000) each, and four Guenons, a type of long-tailed African monkey, were discovered abandoned and hungry on January 31 but have since been taken into care by the KWS and given toys to play with.

"The six babies were squashed in a small crate together with four Guenons, they were in a very pathetic condition", Eric Kalla, an assistant director at the (KWS) said on Tuesday.

"They had begun eating their own faecal matter due to hunger and unfortunately one baby chimp died due to stress and starvation," he said.

He said the animals, en route from Egypt to Nigeria via Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, belonged to a woman who had claimed the crate was a kennel containing dogs.

Story here.

First Gorilla Born at Chicago Zoo Dies at 35


Lincoln Park Zoo lost another famous resident when kidney failure claimed the life of Kumba, a female western lowland gorilla, officials announced today.

Kumba was euthanized Saturday after suffering what zoo officials described as "a severe decline in her physical condition and quality of life." In recent months, the gorilla had been losing weight, muscle tone and overall body condition.

"Losing an animal is the most difficult part of working at the zoo, and it was really tough to say goodbye to Kumba, who was the first gorilla born here and a member of our family for 35 years," General Curator Robyn Barbiers said in a prepared statement.

Kumba's was the first of 45 gorilla births at the zoo, officials said. Veterinarians noted Kumba's reduced renal function the last few years and tried a variety of treatments, but her health continued to decline.

Story here.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Patent attempted for human and ape lab chimera

Stuart Newman, a professor at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., had sought a ruling on whether the animal-human hybrid could be grown and nurtured as his own child.

A New York scientist's seven-year effort to win a patent on a laboratory-conceived creature that is part human and part animal ended in failure Friday, closing a historic and somewhat ghoulish chapter in American intellectual-property law.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the claim, saying the hybrid, designed for use in medical research but not yet created, would be too closely related to a human to be patentable.

Paradoxically, the rejection was a victory of sorts for the inventor, Stuart Newman of New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. An opponent of patents on living things, he had no intention of making the creatures. His goal was to set a legal precedent that would keep others from profiting from any similar "inventions."

But in an age when science is increasingly melding human and animal components for research - already the government has allowed many patents on "humanized" animals, including a mouse with a human immune system - the decision leaves a crucial question unanswered: At what point is something too human to patent?

Officials said it was not so difficult to make the call this time because Newman's technique could easily have created something that was much more person than not. But newer methods are allowing scientists to fine-tune those percentages, putting the patent office in an awkward position of being the federal arbiter of what is human.

The Newman case reveals how far U.S. intellectual-property law has lagged behind the art and science of biotechnology. The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of patenting life only once, and that was 25 years ago.

It also raises profound questions about the differences - and similarities - between humans and other animals, and the limits of treating animals as property.

"The whole privatization of the biological world has to be looked at," Newman said, "so we don't suddenly all find ourselves in the position of saying, 'How did we get here? Everything is owned."'

Newman's application, filed in 1997, described a technique for combining human embryo cells with cells from the embryo of a monkey, ape or other animal to create a blend of the two - what scientists call a chimera. That's the Greek term for the mythological creature that had a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail.

Story here.

Scientists document complex genomic events leading to the birth of new genes

A team of scientists led by Peer Bork, Ph.D., Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, report today in the journal Genome Research that they have identified a new primate-specific gene family that spans about 10% of human chromosome 2. Comprised of eight family members, the RGP gene cluster may help to explain what sets apart humans and other primates from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Human chromosome 2 has always intrigued primate biologists; it formed from the fusion of two mid-sized ape chromosomes and is the only cytogenetic distinction separating humans from apes. At the molecular level, however, the differences among the species are much more complex.

Bork's team systematically searched the complete genomic sequences from a broad range of taxa (mouse, rat, roundworm, fruit fly, mosquito, and pufferfish) for single-copy genes that had evolved more than one copy in humans. "Gene duplication is known to play a leading role in evolution for the creation of new genes," explained Francesca Ciccarelli, Ph.D., lead author on the study. The key to this, however, is that the duplicated copies of genes very quickly evolve functions that are significantly different than those of their progenitors.

Natural selection acts on gene duplications, most often by deleting them from the gene pool or by degrading them into non-functional pseudogenes. This is because fully functional duplicated genes, in combination with the corresponding parent gene, produce abnormally abundant quantities of transcripts. This overexpression often alters the fragile molecular balance of gene products on a cellular level, ultimately resulting in deleterious phenotypic consequences. If these duplicated genes acquire new functions, however, they may confer a selective advantage to an organism, leading to the rise of lineage-specific genes over evolutionary time.

Bork's team identified a total of 22 genes with more than one copy in humans but only a single copy in all other species tested. They then turned their attention to the gene that exhibited the most dramatic of these duplications: RanBP2. RanBP2 is the largest protein found at the nuclear pore complex, helping to regulate nucleic acid and protein traffic in and out of the nucleus. The corresponding gene is present in all sequenced animal genomes but not in other eukaryotes, such as plants or fungi.

The new gene family characterized by Dr. Bork and his colleagues was largely derived from RanPB2, but it had also acquired a domain from the neighboring GCC2 gene, whose protein product contains a GRIP domain that localizes intracellularly to the trans-Golgi network. The new gene family, spanning approximately 10% of human chromosome 2, was named RGP (for RanBP2-like, GRIP domain-containing proteins).

Story here.

Lost monkey spotted in Toa Payoh estate

just try it...

The monkey was spotted at Block 222 Toa Payoh Lorong 8.

It charmed residents by climbing coconut trees.

The monkey even caught the attention of the Police who arrived at the scene, but scampered off before it could be caught.

The Police are contacting the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the Singapore Zoo to look into the matter.

Story here.

Runaway monkey pestering Makati village folk

IF YOU pass by San Miguel Village in Makati City and happen to see a monkey perched on a tree or electric post, call the police or inform residents.

The primate has allegedly been pestering village folk in the Barangay Poblacion community for a week now, and efforts to catch it have been futile, Anthony Torre, security officer of the village yesterday said.

Torre said the monkey, which was as big as a year-old baby, could have been someone's pet, but no one's claiming it.

According to him, the furry animal shows itself in the mornings and late afternoons, appearing in one street and popping up in another.

In the week it had been loose, the monkey has reportedly destroyed property and gained the ire of residents in the village of about 100 families, Torre said.

The other day, it broke a car wiper on F. Zobel Street.

Yesterday afternoon, it took and broke a 9-year-old boy's toy on the same street.

Because their village is lined with trees, Torre said the monkey picked up the habit of throwing fruits on passersby on Candelaria Street.

There are also reports that the monkey once entered a house on Layog Street and smashed bottles.

On another occasion, the primate ripped laundry off a resident's clothesline.

Torre said they hope to catch the monkey before the residents' patience runs out.

Story here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nonhuman primate males more susceptible to age-related cognitive decline than females

When it comes to aging, women may have another reason to be thankful. Research conducted in nonhuman primates at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University shows male nonhuman primates are more susceptible to age-related cognitive decline. The February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience reports this finding, which the researchers say has implications for developing sex-specific therapies to help humans guard against age-related memory loss.
By observing that older male nonhuman primates' spatial memory, which is responsible for recording environmental and spatial-orientation information, declines at a greater rate than that of females, researchers led by Agn├Ęs Lacreuse, PhD, assistant research professor, and James Herndon, PhD, associate research professor, both in Yerkes' Division of Neuroscience, concluded a species' sex may influence age-related cognitive decline.

"Given that spatial memory is sensitive to sex differences in humans and in nonhuman primates, we decided to focus our study on determining how cognitive aging differs between the sexes," said Lacreuse. According to Lacreuse, such sex differences have not been studied frequently in humans, and when they have, the data has been inconsistent.

In the study, the researchers observed a large group of young and elderly nonhuman primates performing tasks that measured spatial memory. The researchers presented each animal with an increasing number of identical disks for which the animals had to identify the disk appearing in a new location.

"We saw young adult male nonhuman primates outperform females, a finding consistent with human data that shows men have a higher capacity than women for maintaining or updating spatial information. What's particularly interesting, however, was the finding among older adult nonhuman primates. While we observed cognitive decline in both sexes, the sex difference no longer existed among aged male and female nonhuman primates. This finding suggested the males' spatial abilities declined at a greater rate as they got older than did the females."

Story here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Langur dead in zoo with bullet hole

another victim of the vicious monkey gang wars

A grey langur died in Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park here on Saturday, with a hole in its chest and the airgun slug that embedded it deep in its flesh.

Zoo officials said the langur “may not have died because of the flesh wound” and that the incident was “only a mishap”, but questions are being raised about the security in the park, which houses the critically endangered snow leopard and red panda.

A source said an autopsy conducted on the primate suggests it died of internal haemorrhage, but could not determine how many days it lived after being injured.

“A guard on his morning rounds saw the langur, a seven-year-old female, pacing around in the enclosure that she shared with two other females and a male, around 8 am on Saturday,” the source said.

“Suspecting something wrong, he rang Siromani Sangden, the state in-charge of the zoo. But the monkey died before any help arrived.”

The caretakers, who feed the animals every morning and evening, said they never noticed the injured animal behaving strangely.

Story here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Name of new monkey species being auctioned!

name me...please.

These days, if you're willing to pay the asking price, you can put your name on just about anything - a basketball arena, a hospital wing, perhaps even a subway station.

How humdrum.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, on the other hand, is offering some true naming-rights excitement. The group will be auctioning off the chance to name a new species of monkey.

The animal, a variety of titi monkey of the genus Callicebus, was first spotted in 2000 in Madidi National Park in Bolivia. Observations made since then convinced the discoverers - Dr. Robert Wallace of the conservation society; Humberto Gomez, a Bolivian biologist; and two Conservation Society volunteers, Annika and Adam Felton - that the monkey was a new species. Their paper describing the animal has been accepted by taxonomic authorities.

Ordinarily, the person who discovers a species has the right to name it, and species have often been named for people who supported research or financed an expedition. In this case, Dr. Wallace said in a telephone interview from Bolivia, the discoverers decided to seek a benefactor after the fact, in an online auction that would both raise interest in Madidi park and funds to help manage it.

"We have no idea how much money this can generate," he said of the auction, which begins Feb. 24 at "We're looking for someone who wants to make a lasting contribution to one of the most important protected areas of the world."

Madidi National Park, which covers about 7,300 square miles in northwestern Bolivia, is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. Yet it is threatened by encroaching agriculture and road building, which lead to human settlement. Proceeds of the auction will go to a Bolivian conservation foundation and the country's park service to carry out a management plan for the area.

The monkey is about 15 inches high, weighs about 2 pounds and has gold, orange and burgundy colors in its fur. "In general it's quite sort of fluffy looking," Dr. Wallace said.

Whoever wins the auction will have to follow the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, but the code offers a lot of leeway. "You can't name it something that's openly offensive," he said. "Other than that, you can name it what you want."

Story here.

Lab monkeys 'scream with fear' in tests

how about opening that door?

Secret documents describing how some monkeys can scream in misery, fear and anger during experiments were produced in the high court yesterday as evidence that the laws intended to protect laboratory animals are being flouted.

Excerpts from Cambridge University internal papers - one of several sites where primate research is carried out - give laboratory technicians and scientists advice on how to deal with problems during and after experiments. Presented in court by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), they describe occasions when primates are "screaming, trying to get out of the box, defecating", and state: "This is an angry animal."

Scientists and technicians are advised in the documents to "punish" the bad habits of the monkeys, stating that these bad habits include the normal self-grooming.

Richard Drabble QC, for the BUAV, told the high court yesterday that the documents contradict the general public perception that animals are well cared for and protected under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Making an application for judicial review of the legality of lab practices, he also alleged that brain-damaged monkeys at Cambridge were not provided with the 24-hour veterinary care which the government's own guidance states is necessary.

Story here.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Missing Monkey Found

Janey, a white-throated capuchin monkey who was stolen from her cage, was reunited with her adoring owners in Glen Burnie today.

Anne Arundel County police say the eight-month-old monkey was taken from Michelle Howard on Wednesday morning, when someone entered her home and took Janey from her cage.

Two days later, Janey was safe at home, perched on her owner's shoulder and eyeing a camera from WJZ that captured the moment.

Police believe a couple who bought a bird from the Howard family about a month ago are responsible for the theft.

The break in the case came when police got a tip from someone in Baltimore about a monkey. They executed a search warrant and recovered Janey. Charges are pending against the couple who allegedly took her.

Howard received the three-pound capuchin in December as a Christmas gift from her husband, who paid seven-thousand dollars for Janey.

Story here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Springs Zoo Gorilla Passes Away

A 36-year-old silverback gorilla at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has died.

"Scotty" was found dead in his exhibit this morning.

Zoo Doctors say he died in his sleep.

The 330-pound gorilla was born in the wild in 1969 and was on loan to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for the past five years.

Officials say he was a favorite among visitors.

Doctors say they believe Scotty died as a result from the effects of a ruptured aorta.

Story here.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Four people arrested in connection with the theft of three endangered monkeys

Rio, Baby and Pinkie are pictured back to the slave pits at Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo

Four people arrested in connection with the theft of three endangered monkeys from a zoo on Monday have been bailed pending further inquiries.
The four, aged 16, 19, 20 and 21, were held over the theft of the Cotton-Top Tamarin monkeys from Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, near Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Police found the family of animals following raids at two addresses in the Erdington area of Birmingham.

A theme park spokesperson said a vet is to assess the monkeys on Thursday.

Two of the animals were recovered on Wednesday night and the third was traced in the early hours of Thursday, it is understood.

They are not thought to have been harmed.

Story here.

Baby Monkey Stolen from Home

A Glen Burnie family is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of a pet monkey.

Michelle Howard says the eight-month-old capuchin monkey named Janey was taken yesterday morning.

Because of her age, Janey needs constant care -- including milk supplements three or four times a day.

Howard said she wasn't sure who might have stolen the animal because she doesn't tell many people about her exotic pets.

McCauley says "I think it's ridiculous. Because of all this stuff in here and they go for one thing when they could have cleaned out the whole place. They knew what they were getting. They knew they wanted that."

Story here.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Three monkeys have been stolen from a zoo in Staffordshire

The cotton-top Tamarin monkeys - Rio, Rhia and Pinky - were taken from an enclosure at Drayton Manor Park near Tamworth on Monday night.

It is believed the thieves climbed a perimeter fence and smashed their way into the monkey house.

Trevor Steventon from Staffordshire Police said: "It is not clear why these have been stolen but it was a determined theft."

Rio and Rhia, a breeding pair, have been at the zoo for about 15 years while baby Terry was born in captivity about six years ago.

Their keeper is said to be "very concerned" about their welfare because they need to be kept in conditions above room temperature.

But the animals, native to the Colombian rainforests, are micro-chipped and can be identified if the thieves attempt to sell them on.

The park's managing director Colin Bryan said: "We pride ourselves on our conservation and breeding programme of cotton-top Tamarin monkeys.

"We are extremely concerned and distressed at the theft. The monkeys have a careful daily routine and we employ experts who look after them.

"We need the public's help and information to get them back safely."

Story here.

Gratuitous Monkey Picture


A newborn Angolan colobus monkey snuggles with a stuffed animal inside an incubator for human babies on loan from Abilene (Texas) Regional Medical Center. The baby was delivered by C-section on Sunday and needed an incubator because her mother rejected her.

Full size here.

Depression May Be Monkey Business, Too

I'm not really feeling up to flinging anything today.

Two new studies suggest that our simian cousins may have more in common with us than we realize.

Female monkeys suffer from depression, especially when they're isolated, while the innate sense of fairness in chimpanzees seems to be pegged to interpersonal relationships, researchers have found.

The findings could give experts more insight into how monkeys and chimpanzees evolved separately from humans. And in the case of one monkey study, "we can study these animals and learn things that will help us understand human depression better," said co-author Carol Shively, a professor of pathology at Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

While some animals appear to suffer from depression, researchers have so far only used rats as a model for human behavior, Shively said. For example, researchers have given Prozac to rats to see if it helps motivate them to swim longer.

In her study, Shively and her colleagues studied 36 adult female cynomolgus monkeys who lived with other monkeys in groups of four. The findings appear in the April issue of the Journal of Biological Psychology.

Story here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Puberty found to be triggered by KiSS

A gene called KiSS-1 is responsible for triggering puberty, scientists have discovered. It produces a protein called kisspeptin in the brain that turns on the urge to reproduce.

Little had been known about what instigates the cascade of hormone secretions that produces puberty's physical changes. Now scientists can shed new light on why all reproductive hormones are present at birth, go into hiding at about four to six months, then re-emerge in full force about 10 to 12 years later.

Prof Tony Plant, director of the Centre for Research in Reproductive Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said: "An appreciation of puberty's deep-seated neurobiological mechanisms could, for instance, help prevent precocious or delayed puberty from occurring in some children."

His research, carried out with teams at Harvard University's Massachusetts General Hospital and the Oregon National Primate Research Centre, is published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The onset of puberty becomes official when gonadotropin-releasing hormone is secreted and sets off a chain reaction of chemical messages.

The researchers found that by giving animals kisspeptin they could wake up the reproductive hormones from their childhood hibernation, triggering the events that mark the onset of puberty.

Story here. Link to Gene Simmons, so you can personally thank him for putting you through puberty.

Monkey Suit Robber Caught!

so, bananas?

A jobless man has been arrested for attempting to rob a convenience store here last month while dressed in a monkey suit, police said.

Investigators traced down Takashi Ishimitsu, 31, of Yokkaichi, after a local resident reported having spotted a man dressed in a similar costume.

At around 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 25, Ishimitsu, dressed in a monkey suit, sneaked into the Lawson convenience store's Yokkaichi Hinaga-Nishi outlet, threatened a 26-year-old employee with a knife and demanded money, local police said.

The employee immediately went into the store's office to alert the manager. However, the robber had disappeared before the manager came out. Nobody was injured in the incident and no money was stolen, according to investigators.

Story here.