Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lasers Used To Control Monkey Neurons

monkey neuronsFlashes of light may one day be used to control the human brain, and that day just got a lot closer.

Using lasers, researchers at the MIT Media Lab were able to activate a specific set of neurons in a monkey’s brain. Though the technique has been used to control and explore neural circuits in fish, flies and rodents, this is the first time the much-hyped technology has ever been used in primates.

“It paves the way for new therapies that could target a number of psychiatric disorders,” said MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden, who led the research with postdoctoral fellow Xue Han. “This is very exciting from a translational standpoint.”

The beauty of this optogenetic technique is its specificity. By using a combination of lasers and genetic engineering, scientists can control, to the millisecond, the firing of a specific class of neurons, allowing them to pinpoint problematic cells and circuits while leaving innocent bystanders alone, thus minimizing potential side effects.

Viruses are engineered to infect neurons with a special type of channel, originally discovered in algae, which is sensitive to blue light. Once a blue laser shines on the infected neurons, the channels snap open, ions rush into the cell, and the neuron fires.

Crucial to the technique is that the virus is only injected into a very small part of the brain, and only a certain class of neurons, once infected, actually turn the channel on. The sharp laser beam further zeros in on a small portion of the brain. This precise aim is in contrast to current techniques, such as drugs and electrodes, both of which have a much broader reach.

The optogenetic method was pioneered in 2005 by Boyden and Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University and has since been used to understand how circuits of neurons control various behaviors, such as learning in mice and predator escape in fish. But until now, scientists had never demonstrated the technique in primates — a move essential for developing therapeutic uses for the technology in humans.

Boyden’s new research, published Wednesday in Neuron, demonstrates not only that the technology works in primates, but also that it is safe. The rhesus macaques received multiple rounds of injections and laser stimulations over the course of eight or nine months without damaging the neurons or activating the brain’s immune system, an obvious concern when viruses are involved.

“Many disorders are associated with changes in specific cell types,” said Boyden. “For therapeutic purposes, you want to affect certain cells, but you want to leave normal cells intact. The ability to use light to turn specific cells on and off with very precise timing could in principle allow new therapies.”

Future applications could involve using light-emitting neural prosthetics to replace the electrodes used in deep brain stimulation, which currently activate or silence a broad range of neurons. Deep brain stimulation has shown promise in treatments of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and depression, but it has a number of side effects, stemming in part from its lack of specificity.

Story here.

Man Dies After Killing Monkey With Axe

A dead monkey had the last laugh when the Mpumalanga pensioner who killed him with an axe died a few hours later.

Zondani Mkhwanazi, 64, of Mkhuhlu near Hazyview and his son, Bongani, were sitting outside Mkhwanazi's house on Saturday when he noticed movement at the top of a nearby tree.

It was a monkey jumping from one tree to another, screeching and chattering.

Mkhwanazi tried to chase the monkey away, but the animal settled in an isolated tree and wouldn't budge.

"My father thought the monkey was making fun of him," said Bongani.

He said his enraged father went into the house, fetched an axe and chopped down the tree, forcing the monkey to the ground where Zondani killed it with the axe.

Three hours later Zondani started complaining of cramps in his chest.

"We all thought it was old-age aches and pains from chopping down the tree," said Bongani

The family went to bed and was woken by the screams of their mother, Busisiwe Mkhwanazi. When they went into the bedroom, she told the family that their father had died in his sleep.

Story here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baby Gorilla Rescued From Suspected Traffickers In Congo

baby gorilla rescuedUndercover officers rescued a baby gorilla from suspected animal traffickers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a national park in the country announced Tuesday.

The gorilla, thought to be about two years old, was hidden at the bottom of a bag and covered with clothes when Congolese Wildlife Authority officers arrested the suspected trafficker on Sunday, Virunga National Park said.

The gorilla, a female, was overheated and dehydrated after six hours in transit. She also had a puncture wound on her right leg, among other injuries, and is malnourished, but is responding to treatment, the park said in a statement.

It is not clear if the young gorilla's mother is alive or dead, park spokeswoman Samantha Newport said.

"You can assume that a gorilla family was attacked in order for the traffickers to obtain a baby -- but it is impossible to know if a whole family was wiped out, just a few individuals, or none at all," she said. "In most cases gorillas have to die to get a baby -- but we cannot know specifically for this case."

The animal is now being looked after by specially trained carers, Newport said.

"This is of course not an ideal replacement for a mother -- but the best option we have," she told CNN via e-mail. Carers often have some veterinary training, but are not fully fledged vets, she added.

But gorillas do not do well in situations like this, she warned.

"Gorillas, it is worth noting, are notoriously difficult to keep alive," she said. "Chimps are fighters, as are bonobos. But gorillas -- when the going gets tough -- tend to just shut down. So it really is a critical time right now to ensure she gets the veterinary attention and human warmth that she needs to get through this."

The suspect was getting off a plane from the interior of the country, near the gorillas' habitat, the park said.

One person has been charged under the country's law forbidding the destruction of flora and fauna, Newport told CNN. The park did not name the suspect.

Gorillas can fetch up to $20,000 on the black market, the head of Virunga National Park said.

Story here.

Grizzled Leaf Monkey Born At Kent Wildlife Park

grizzled leaf monkeyAn endangered baby grizzled leaf monkey has been born at a Kent wildlife park.

The monkey, whose sex is not yet known, was born to father Sianak and mother Mojang at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury.

Howletts is believed to have been the first place to house the species outside its native Java.

The monkey's parents are one of four breeding pairs at the park. It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 of the species remain in the wild.

Mojang also gave birth to the first grizzled leaf monkey born in captivity at Howletts in 1999.

In the wild, grizzled leaf monkeys live only in the forests of the island of Java, where less than 4% of the original forests remain.

Story here.

Mother, Daughter Pair Sentenced In Monkey Smuggling

rhesus smugglingThe mother and daughter found guilty of smuggling a monkey into the United States have been sentenced. Gypsy Lawson, 28, of Spokane and her mother Fran Ogren, 56, of Northport, were found guilty of two crimes in December 2008; smuggling and conspiring to smuggle a rhesus macaque monkey into the United States, which is against federal law.

Both have been sentenced to 60 days in jail. Additionally, both will be under court supervision for 3-years and must pay $4,507 in restitution.

Story here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Chimpanzee Born At Dallas Zoo

dallas chimp bornThe Dallas Zoo has a new resident, a baby chimpanzee born at the zoo last weekend.

The baby chimp, which has not been named, was born last Sunday morning to parents Ramona and KC at the Zoo's Chimpanzee Forest exhibit.

The Dallas Zoo says they have closed the chimpanzee exhibit for a brief period while the other chimps become accustomed to the new guest.

The zoo says vets say the baby appears to be healthy, but they are waiting until Ramona and the baby have had more time to bond before they will examine it to make sure, and to determine if it's a boy or girl.

The birth makes eight chimpanzees at the zoo.

Story here.

Toledo Zoo Gorilla Dies

A female western lowland gorilla was found dead April 25 in an off-exhibit holding area inthe Kingdom of the Apes, according to a Toledo Zoo news release. A necropsy completed April 25 by the Zoo’s veterinary staff indicated liver involvement but did not provide a definitive cause of death. Samples will be sent for histopathology.

On April 22, afternoon keepers observed that the 22-year-old gorilla, Shani, was moving slowly and had a decreased appetite. When she did not respond to treatment she was immobilized April 24 in an attempt to determine the cause of her ailment.

According to Dr Chris Hanley, Associate Veterinarian,”a full diagnosticexam revealed severe jaundice, anemia and low blood glucose. Animal care staff provided treatment and supportive care. Friday evening Shani was recovering from anesthesia and was lethargic but alert.”

Dr. Anne Baker, Executive Director, said that “The Toledo Zoo’s staff is to be commended for their commitment to animal care. As is the case with all wild animals, gorillas have evolved to mask signs of disease. This means that they show few, if any, symptoms until disease is quite far progressed. It’s not like humans who can tell you immediately if they’re not feeling well, and describe their symptoms. Keepers have to be very good at reading the animals they care for, and picking up on subtle signs that something is not quite right. And all too often once those signs appear it’s too late.”

Story here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reggie The Monkey Captured, Reunited With Owner

reggie the monkeyReggie the monkey is back home.

Employees at the Twin Palms Resort and Marina in Fruitland Park spotted the fugitive simian early Monday and kept the spider monkey, which escaped from the visiting Leibling Brothers Circus about a month ago, busy until its owner retrieved it.

Denny Mulholland, owner of Twin Palms, said it was the first time a monkey had been the subject of so much attention at the rustic fish camp.

"If you want to monkey around, come on out to Twin Palms," Mulholland said. "Back to nature, you know, the gators and the monkeys."

Marina manager Bill Nichals spotted Reggie as the monkey hung upside-down by his tail from a storage shelter Monday morning. Nichals offered Reggie some strawberries, snack cakes and other vittles while Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies contacted the animal's owner, Mulholland said. The owner could not be reached for comment Monday.

The owner arrived and brought Reggie's "wife," another spider monkey, in an attempt to coax him down, Mulholland said.

His significant other didn't help; opening a Coca-Cola, however, hit the spot and convinced the wayward circus star off his perch into his owner's arms, Mulholland said.

The wife-monkey had her own message for Reggie: She slapped him good a few times when the escaped animal returned to its owner, Nichals said.

"She was slapping him like 'where you been for the past two months?'" Nichals said.

Neighbors said they had watched Reggie sneaking around the area for about a week. Some fed him bananas but didn't tell any authorities, Mulholland said.

Some were concerned that law enforcement and other officials seemed not to want to help capture the monkey. Quick action is needed with an animal whose temperament is unknown, one man said.

"A monkey will tear your damn face off," said Jim McDonald, who watched employees and bystanders try to coax Reggie from atop a storage shelter.

Story here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baby Lemur Dies After Falling Into Moat

houdini lemurThe Little Rock Zoo says a baby lemur that was rescued from a moat and given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has died, one day after the near-drowning.

The zoo says the baby lemur, Houdini, was found dead Thursday night. Houdini fell in the moat Wednesday afternoon and was pulled from the water by a primate keeper. Zoo curator Joe Darcangelo performed mouth-to-mouth on the lemur, which weighed less than one pound. Houdini was then taken to the zoo's veterinarian hospital, where he appeared to be doing fine, the zoo said.

Zoo officials don't yet know the cause of death, but noted that it's not unusual for an animal to die after nearly drowning.

Story here.

Cinder The Hairless Chimp Passes

Because of our temporary hiatus, it seems we missed this sad story back in February about the passing of Cinder, the hairless ape. Apologies:

cinder hairless ape
cinder hairless chimp
cinder the hairless chimp
hairless chimp

Cinder, a 14-year-old chimpanzee at the Saint Louis Zoo died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, February 15th. Cinder was best known as "the hairless chimp."

"The Saint Louis Zoo staff is shocked and saddened by her sudden death," said Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, president & CEO of the Zoo. "She will be very much missed by our staff, our volunteers and visitors."

Zoo officials said eight of the eleven chimpanzees at the zoo were suffering from various stages of a cold Sunday. Cinder was one of the first to catch the cold, but was not showing any of the symptoms like a runny nose or cough. Zookeepers reported her appetite and attitude good.

According to the zoo, the keepers were busy giving all the apes their afternoon snack when they heard a series of alarm barks coming from the chimpanzees. They found Cinder collapsed on the floor with alpha male, Hugo, next to her. He tried to get her to respond.

After separating the group from her, the keepers and zoological manager of primates began trying to resuscitate her even before veterinary help arrived. She was immediately given emergency drugs intravenously. Resuscitation attempts were continued, but without success.

A necropsy with preliminary results from the Saint Louis Zoo's pathologist did not show an obvious cause of unexpected death. Further laboratory tests are being conducted on tissue samples, blood samples and bacterial cultures taken from the necropsy. Results from the tests are expected in three to four weeks.

Her mother, Mollie, and father, Smoke, were brought to the Saint Louis Zoo to become foster parents to Hugo. Mollie gave birth to Cinder on August 9, 1994.

When she was five-months-old, Cinder began losing her hair. Zoo veterinarians, along with medical specialists in dermatology, determined she had a condition called Alopecia universalis.

Zoo leaders said they were at first worried Cinder would not be well received.

"We didn't want her viewed as a freak so that they couldn't see her as another member of our chimpanzee family who had a distinct and complex personality. Although some visitors were disconcerted by her naked state, most people showed compassion and genuine interest," said Curator of Primates Ingrid Porton.

Story here.

Note: Not to be confused with Ashes, the hairless chimp from Mysore Zoo in India:

ashes the hairless chimp

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baby Chimp Garissa Born in Basel

A baby chimp named Garissa was born in Basel on April 15. Her mother Benga, 30, is the second chimp to give birth at Zoo Basel in the past year: Xindra, 38, had a son Fahamu who is now 8 months old. (Very) rough translation suggests some Springer-esque mystery around Garissa's birth - no one was certain Benga was pregnant after multiple tests, and her father could either be Wakili, 10, or Eros, 47.

here (via)

Glasses Created To Prevent Eye Contact With Gorillas

bokito glasses
On May 18th a gorilla named Bokito escaped from Rotterdam Zoo. During his escape the animal attacked a female visitor, who had frequent eye contact with the animal. This presumably led to the attack, since gorillas do not like direct eye contact. Health insurance company FBTO always offers simple solutions, so the weekend after the escape we distributed more than 2.000 so-called BokitoViewers at the entrance to Rotterdam Zoo.

Story here.

Gray Titi Born At Lincoln Park Zoo

gray titi bornTeetering on extinction in the wilds, the Gray Titi is thriving at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.

In the South American tropical forests of Bolivia, a rare monkey called the Gray Titi is heading for extinction. But here in Chicago at Lincoln Park Zoo the titi is thriving; just six days ago another little beauty was born.

For the last several days, everyone has been trying to get a glimpse of the new Gray Titi. The 5-day-old is clinging to its mother's neck. They don't know the name of the teeny, tiny titi.

"The baby is doing very well it's riding on it's mother's back but also we've seen it transfer to dad or the other siblings. So the whole family is there taking care of the kid," said Maureen Leahy, asst. curator of primates Lincoln Park Zoo.

The titis here at Lincoln Park are very successful. Since mom Delasol and dad Ocala were paired in 2001 they have had seven healthy babies. So tiny Titi is just one more addition to a happy family.

Story here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bloggers Still Needed

Just a reminder, we are still looking for additional bloggers to join the Monkey News Team and contribute to the Monkeys In The News blog. If you want to contribute, please shoot me an email at dayofthemonkey(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hidden Orangutan Population Discovered

orangutanA previously unknown population of rare orangutans has been discovered in the forests of Indonesian Borneo, raising hopes for the species' survival, conservationists said Monday.

Up to 5,000 endangered Bornean orangutans are believed to be living in limestone mountains in East Kalimantan province after surveyors in December found 219 orangutan "nests", Nature Conservancy scientist Erik Meijaard told AFP.

The nests, sleeping platforms made of branches and leaves suspended in the trees, indicate there could be "several hundred to several thousand" orangutans living in the 2,500 square kilometre (965 square mile) area, Meijaard said.

Nardiyono, who headed the survey team by the US-based conservation group, said the discovery will aid efforts to conserve the apes.

"We are delighted with the new discovery. We consider this an important discovery as we have identified a new area where the orangutans can be found," he said.

"We are already working with the local government as well as (the) community to turn it into a protected area for the orangutans."

The orangutans probably fled into the area in East Kutai and Berau districts after massive forest fires hit Kalimantan in 1997 and 1998, said Nardiyono.

"We saw a family of three orangutans during the trip, the mother, her baby and a male. The male orangutan was angry with us and kept breaking branches and throwing them at us," he said.

Meijaard said the orangutans found in East Kalimantan belong to a subspecies, known as Pongo pygmaeus morio, known for its darker brown-black hair.

"Compared to other species, they are able to adapt better to difficult situations. They can survive in timber forests," Meijaard said, referring to forests denuded by loggers.

"They have strong jaws and can eat bark and leaves. They have smaller brains, we always joke that they are stupid."

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 80 percent of which live in Indonesia and 20 percent in Malaysia, according to The Nature Conservancy.

Story here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gorilla Goes Walkabout At Melbourne Zoo

yakini gorillaA low-hanging palm was all cheeky Melbourne Zoo gorilla Yakini needed to escape his enclosure and go walkabout before staff recaptured him with a bunch of bananas and a tranquilliser dart.

Between 40 and 50 visitors were ushered out of harm's way and into a gift shop while nine-year-old Yakini spent 20 minutes checking out some of the other zoo inhabitants just before closing time yesterday.

Zoo general curator Dan Maloney said Yakini used a palm frond that had dipped low over a moat to climb out of his enclosure. A staff member spotted him on one of the zoo's walkways.

"His temperament was great. I was one of the first on the scene and I saw he was just pretty calm and he was kind of curious about things, and he made his way up on to the edge of the tree kangaroo enclosure and was looking in,'' Mr Maloney said.

The 92-kilogram gorilla wandered for about 20 minutes, rummaging through bins and climbing on the roof of the butterfly enclosure before he was eventually lured to the elephant barn by a senior keeper carrying a bunch of bananas.

"All the while during this little stroll we were shepherding guests into the gift shop, we were securing gates (and) the vets were getting their tranquilliser darts ready,'' Mr Maloney said.

Zoo staff sedated Yakini from about 20 metres and carried him back to his enclosure, where he lives a bachelor life with his father and half-brother.

"He woke up with a yawn and a stretch and the look on his face was like `I've just had this weirdest dream','' senior keeper Damian Lewis said.

Zoo staff have trimmed the low-hanging palm.

Story here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Baby Chimp Born To Jackson Zoo

mojo chimp bornA baby male chimpanzee, MoJo, born in March at the Jackson Zoo, should go on exhibit to the public for the first time by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The baby was born March 8 and has been inside with his mother since birth. His name is a combination of his parents’ names — dad JoJo and mom Missy.

The Jackson Zoo's nine chimpanzees represent three generations, from JoJo at age 45 to Mojo, 4 weeks.

"This is such a special birth," Zoo Director Beth Poff said in a release. "It has been some time since we have had a chimp born at the Jackson Zoo, and they always inspire such fascination and joy among visitors."

MoJo is available for adoption, which helps provide support for animals all year long; levels start at $25 and go up. Visit or call (601) 352-2580 ext. 226 for information.

Story here.

Last Escaped Monkey Captured In Oregon

monkey escapedThe Oregon Health & Science University says the last of the nine monkeys that escaped from the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro has been captured.

Hillsboro police assisted OHSU animal caretakers in locating the animal Sunday afternoon.

The nine escaped Friday when a caretaker failed to lock a cage door during routine cleaning. Four were captured immediately.

The animals are part of the primate center's breeding colony and not involved in health research.

Research center director Nancy Haigwood said the center will take measures to improve security so that it will be harder for an animal to leave the property if it gets out of its enclosure.

Story here.

Scientists Use Monkeys To Discover Why Scratching Soothes the Itch

Using monkeys for their study, the scientists focused on a particular type of spinal nerve that transmits a signal from an area located near the bottom of the rib cage that travels up into the brain and causes the itching sensation. The monkeys, long-tailed macaques, were injected with a chemical to produce itching on the skin of one of their legs while they were under sedation. Electrodes were placed on their spinal nerves to record reaction and the spinal nerves responded by firing electrical signals.

The researchers then employed a hand-held metal device that simulated three monkey fingers to scratch the injected legs of the monkeys, causing a drop in the firing rate, and signaling itch relief. However, when the researchers scratched the legs of the monkeys without creating the itch sensation, the firing rate leaped, indicating that the nerves sense whether or not relief of an itch is warranted.

Giesler explained, “It’s as if there’s a little brain in there that creates this state in which scratching — which normally excites pain cells — instead inhibits them.” The same cells that register the itch also are sensitive to pain. He went on to say, “We really want to understand that, because then we think we'll understand how to relieve itch.” He also noted that it might be possible for scientists to identify the signals that prompt the nerves to respond with relief and attempt to imitate the action stimulation or with the use of drugs or through stimulation.

According to Dr. Gil Yosipovitch, a dermatologist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and founder of the International Forum for the Study of Itch, “It’s a very important study; itching is a major problem for millions of patients.”

Story here.

Chimps exchange food for sex

Male chimps that are willing to share the proceeds of their hunting expeditions mate twice as often as their more selfish counterparts.

This is a long-term exchange, so males continue to share their catch with females when they are not fertile, copulating with them when they are.

Meat is important for the animals' diet because it is so high in protein. Since female chimps do not usually hunt, "they have a hard time getting it on their own," explained Dr Gomes.

The "meat for sex hypothesis" had already been proposed to explain why male chimps might share with females.

More Story here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lemur escapes, then recaptured

The brown lemur that escaped from the Ramat Gan Safari over the weekend was found Sunday night and returned safely to the zoological center.

It was the second lemur to escape from the safari within a week. The first one was found within a few hours.

Safari veterinarian Yigal Horowitz went to Tel Aviv's Hatayasim street Sunday after the lemur was reportedly spotted in the area, and found it sitting in a tree. He shot it with a tranquilizer and took it back to the zoo.

Safari staff said something may have scared the lemur to make it jump over the electric cable surrounding its habitat.

Story here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Officials Identify Illness That Killed Lincoln Park Zoo Chimp

chimp illnessLincoln Park Zoo officials have pinpointed a common respiratory virus as the illness that infected the zoo’s seven chimpanzees, killing one of them last month.

But how the chimps contracted metapneumovirus - whose symptoms include coughing, runny noses and diarrhea - may never be known, said Steve Thompson, senior vice president of conservation programs at the zoo.

“It’s very, very unlikely it came from the staff,” Thompson said.

Chimps living in the wild can also contract this virus, he said. This is the first death from a respiratory disease at the zoo in more than two decades.

On Friday, as zoo visitors got a look at the six remaining chimps lolling in the Regenstein Center for African Apes, Thompson described the dramatic and heartbreaking events surrounding the death of 9-year-old chimp Kipper on March 26.

On March 19, zookeepers noticed Kipper and the other chimpanzees coughing and sniffling. They took the chimps from their public viewing area to an area where they could be more closely monitored.

Four days later, Kipper’s breathing was labored, his lungs “very, very congested,” Thompson said.

Taken to the zoo hospital, he was put on oxygen and intravenous fluids Monday, March 23. The next morning, he appeared to be on the road to recovery, sitting up and actually removing his IV.

Suddenly, he stopped breathing.

“He was fooling us that he got better,” Thompson said.

Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation - performed the same on chimps as humans, except the use of an air bag instead of a human mouth - Kipper died.

Zoo staff mourned the loss, but it’s unclear if the six other chimps, a group that includes Kipper’s mother Cashew, even know that one of their own is gone.

“We don’t really now how they feel or what they’re thinking about it,” he said, adding that the six chimps were also dealing with their own symptoms from the virus.

“A zoo is like a small town -- animals die and animals are born,” Thompson said. “All the animals, and all of us, are going to die eventually.”

Story here.

Deputies Shoot Escaped Chimp, Then Find Squalid Puppy Mill

chimp shotOfficers shot and killed a rampaging chimpanzee in a rural area and then found a squalid, unlicensed puppy mill in the chimp owners' home, officials said.

Three people were arrested Wednesday on charges of animal abuse and neglect, operating as an unlicensed breeder and keeping wild animals without proper registration, Daviess County officials said.

The Sheriff's Department had responded to a call Monday night on a request to help capture an angry chimp running loose on a highway outside Winston in northwest Missouri. When officers arrived, the 9-year-old chimp opened the patrol car door and grabbed the leg of a deputy, who fatally shot it, Chief Deputy Todd Watson said.

"We never knew there was an animal like this in the county," Watson said.

When Watson went to talk to the owners, he smelled a strong odor and heard barking from an estimated 100 to 200 small-breed dogs inside. The occupants told Watson they also had three other primates.

Watson returned Tuesday with a search warrant and discovered only 13 dogs and two cats remaining, and they showed signs of abuse and neglect. Watson said he also discovered the remains of nine dead puppies in the yard and recovered records on breeding and sales of pups that brought as much as $400 each.

Brent Hudson, 49; his wife, Cherace Hudson, 41; and their friend Mary Overton, 52, were jailed on $5,000 bond. They did not have attorneys, Watson said.

The three other primates have been recovered. The Humane Society of Missouri is offering a reward for information on the dogs that were seen Monday but gone from the property by the time officials returned Tuesday.

State Agriculture Department spokeswoman Misti Preston said the breeder never had a state license. The home was in a remote location, with no neighbors nearby.

Missouri Agriculture Director Jon Hagler, who has said he wants to put bad breeders out of business, said in a statement that such operators put the health and welfare of animals at risk and place legitimate pet breeders at a competitive disadvantage.

Story here.