Friday, March 04, 2005

Chimps critically injure sanctuary visitor

St. James Davis was critically injured when attacked by a flaming mountain of chimps waving torches and pitchforks.

A couple's plans for a birthday party for their former pet chimpanzee turned tragic when two other chimps at an animal sanctuary escaped from their cage and attacked. The man was critically injured with massive wounds to his face, body and limbs, and the attacking animals were shot dead.

St. James and LaDonna Davis were at the Animal Haven Ranch in Caliente to celebrate the birthday of Moe, a 39-year-old chimpanzee who was taken from their suburban Los Angeles home in 1999 after biting off part of a woman's finger.

Moe was not involved in Thursday's attack, said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.

The couple had brought Moe a cake and were standing outside his cage when Buddy and Ollie, two of four chimpanzees in the adjoining cage, attacked St. James Davis, Martarano said. Officials have not determined how the chimps got out of their enclosure, he said.

LaDonna Davis, 64, suffered a bite wound to the hand while trying to help her 62-year-old husband, Martarano said.

The son-in-law of the sanctuary's owner killed the attacking animals, Martarano said.

"He saw what was happening and had one kind of weapon with him and then got another he felt would be more substantial and shot them," Martarano said. "He pretty much saved a life."

St. James Davis had severe facial injuries and would require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose, Dr. Maureen Martin of Kern Medical Center told KGET-TV of Bakersfield. His testicles and a foot also were severed, Kern County Sheriff's Cmdr. Hal Chealander told The Bakersfield Californian.


Story here.

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