Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chimpanzee dies at Chimp Haven

A 31-year-old chimpanzee died Wednesday at Chimp Haven from what sanctuary officials believed were natural causes.

Staff members found Woodruff, who was unconscious and not breathing, in his indoor bedroom about 1 p.m. and tried to revive him, according Linda Brent, Chimp Haven president and director. He had lived at the chimp retirement center since it opened in April 2005.

Woodruff, referred to as "Woodie" by the staff, is the first chimp that has died at the facility, Brent said.

"He's actually a favorite of everybody's," Brent said. "He was gentle and sweet. He liked people a lot."

The exact cause of the chimpanzee's death is unknown, but staff veterinarians were beginning an autopsy Wednesday afternoon. Final results are expected in two to three weeks, Chimp Haven spokesman Rick DelaHaya said.

Woodie had known health problems, DelaHaya said, including heart trouble and difficulty walking, but those appear to be a result of old age and not the research in which he had been involved. He was kept in an area for medical care not normally seen by visitors.

Chimps older than 30 are considered old, DelaHaya said. Chimp Haven's oldest resident is 54. It's youngest is 14.

Story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed with the announcement of the chimp Woody's death at Chimp Haven. I'm not sure what the motivation was, but Chimp Haven seemed to want to hide some things.

First of all, they said that Woody was old at 31. But in the same article, they stated that chimps can live to be 50-60 years old. How can 31 be old when they can live to 60? Did they just want his death to look like a natural consequence of old age? If so, why?

They also stated that Woody's health problems weren't related to his past experience in research. In truth, nearly all of his health problems can be attributed to his research history. From what I've heard, Woody was partially paralyzed because many years ago a researcher misplaced a catheter in his brain. That seems research-related.

Woody was also very obese. This was almost certainly due to two things. 1) He couldn't move very well (due to his paralysis), so he got virtually no exercise. 2) The research facility where he lived didn't provide him with the diet necessary for him to maintain a healthy weight. His obesity not only put him at risk for a heart attack, but also may have been the reason he had trouble breathing.

Dr. Brent, the president of Chimp Haven, also stated that Woody was the first chimp to die at Chimp Haven. Not true. Another chimp died last year. Why would she lie about that?

Why is Chimp Haven not being honest with the public, the people from whom they are continually requesting donations?