Seven chimpanzees that are at the center of a custody battle were welcomed into their new home at Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville early Friday morning following a 10-hour journey from an animal facility in Texas.
Sarah, Keeli, Ivy, Sheba, Darrell, Harper and Emma were transferred in March from Ohio State University to Primarily Primates in San Antonio. The Texas attorney general’s office seized control of Primarily Primates on Oct. 13 based on allegations of misappropriation of charitable funds, neglect and mistreatment of animals.
“The former Ohio State chimpanzees have endured a lack of adequate food, housing and medical care while at Primarily Primates," Lee Theisen-Watt, the Texas-appointed receiver who now operates the San Antonio facility, says in a press release. "The current animal population at Primarily Primates far exceeds the carrying capacity of this facility. Relocating this first group of chimpanzees to Chimp Haven is a compassionate and smart move.”
Sixty-seven other chimpanzees remain at Primarily Primates along with other primates, birds and cats.
“Chimp Haven is proud to step forward to assist the chimpanzees in need,” said Dr. Linda Brent, the sanctuary's president and director. “These special chimpanzees deserve a good home and to live out their lives among friends. I only wish we could help the chimpanzees left behind.”