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Primarily Primates

November 16, 2006 | Chimpanzees / Animal Rights

Will the animals you helped save at Primarily Primates - ** View Video** - survive PETA's single-minded determination to destroy this sanctuary along with the lives of hundreds of abused animals who want only peace and refuge? You can help.

The sanctuary provides a lifelong home for elderly monkeys, birds with neurotic habits such as feather-plucking, and animals who exhibit sicknesses because labs bred them that way. They aren't abused; they're accepted at one of the few places in the world willing to care for them. Primarily Primates is a refuge of last resort.

PETA would have people believe that all the animals live in poorly designed enclosures. But as you already know, many of the animal enclosures have ropes, climbing structures, trees, and toys; in numerous natural spaces, whole trees grow within an enclosure. Some of Primarily Primates' enclosures are so big that some highly funded zoo exhibits cannot compete with them. And two chimpanzee areas were undergoing enhancements just as PETA charged onto the premises.

Long ago, according to the president of Primarily Primates, PETA began refusing to help pay expenses for animals they sent there. Because they merely used the sanctuary, and turned their backs on the animals while they continued to fundraise off their stories and photos, Primarily Primates' management decided not to accept future animals for long-term care from PETA. This, in addition to Primarily Primates' property assets, may have given PETA a reason to begin a long-running attempt to break the sanctuary. In my opinion, no decent advocacy movement ought to let that happen.

Please make a donation to Save the Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Very truly yours,

Priscilla Feral,

Friends of Animals


I am very interested in the welfare of all animals but it is extremely difficult to know who is telling the truth concerning these poor creatures. [Blog editors' note: At Friends of Animals, we do our research. We have staunchly supported refuges and no-kill shelters for years. What you see is who we are. We believe the animal-advocacy community should be supporting private refuges, not tearing them down.]

Unlike Rita, I am not conflicted about who to believe concerning the animals living at PPI. I believe Friends of Animals. My decision to believe FoA is based, primarily, on the following two reasons. First, if FoA has something to gain by taking on PETA, the Wal-Mart of the movement, I don't see what that gain would be. On the contrary, FoA risks, in my opinion, becoming the target of this angry giant by standing in opposition to it. Second, FoA has been consistent in its message about animal rights. Their actions match their words. I am deeply saddened by PETA's actions related to PPI. I can't understand how this once noble organization can shake hands with animal industries over a bit more wing room for chickens then turn around and try to destroy this sanctuary. If PETA believes the goal of ending animal exploitation can be achieved by working with the animal industry to implement small improvements why does it attack and seek to destroy a sanctuary? If there are problems at PPI, why is PETA not helping to fix those problems? With PETA's huge fund-raising machinery working on behalf of PPI, much could be done to further enrich the lives of all animals finding relief from abuse at PPI. I urge all who are conflicted about what to believe to ask themselves who gains and what do they gain.

This letter was sent to PETA by me on November 18, 2006 and I was invited to blog it at Friends of the Animals who received a cc of the correspondence. The letter was entitled "What Have You Done to Primarily Primates!" "Once upon a time, I was a PETA member and supported the organization and its efforts for many years. That was before Alex Pacheco bowed out and Ingrid Newkirk came in. At that point, I noticed a change in PETA's approach to the public. "I contacted Ingrid and spoke with her about an article in PETA's magazine. It was some years ago. A child had gotten into a primate cage in a zoo and was aided by the primate. A phony photograph was concocted to put in the magazine. It looked like a photo in a smarmy tabloid put together for the stupid. I objected heartily to her and pointed out that the real world has enough impact on people to be more honest in presenting issues. She disagreed. I don't like dishonesty and left PETA, never to return. That was PETA's executive decision. "Now you have usurped Primarily Primate's good will, their website, their funds and energies. You have become dispicable. They have spent so many years doing good work. If you truly cared about the animals, you would have spent the money you have thrown into litigation in helping Primarily Primates instead if they needed it; not attacking them. You are not a good animal activist neighbor. You are a publicity seeker. This is why I left you to begin with. I am ashamed of you." Well, that's the letter. Now, I need big help. I want to contact Paul McCartney. Yes, that's right; THE Paul McCartney. He and I were born on the same day in the same year. Well, there are only so many days and so many years to go 'round! What was interesting to me was that he supported PETA in its efforts as I did. Now I want to alert him to this and ask for his help in aiding Primarily Primates. I can't find a place to send an email to him. Please let Priscilla Feral at Friends of the Animals know. Then I will ask her to tell me by email. I am rather private and hesitant to put my email out there hither and yon. Thanks.

This is a copy of an email I sent to Friends of Animals after doing some considerable research on the Primarily Primates debacle. I hope it will help others who may feel confused about disparate opinions on the issue: My Apologies Recently I sent in a couple of posts that were in opposition of your views on Primarily Primates and the current struggle they are in with PETA and the appointee of the Texas Attorney General's offiice. Gratefully you did not post them. Thank you. It was hard for me to believe that the vets that testified in court against the facility, Primarily Primates, would misrepresent the truth. I should have known, of course, that PETA's involvement in opposition to the facility was a sign of trouble. Since that time I have learned more about the "sanctuary" that the Ohio chimps have been sent to on a temporary basis during the court battles. They are not truly a sanctuary, but rather just a government funded agency that houses chimps for later use. I suspect you already knew that, I did not. Now I have a clearer understanding as to the motivation of closing down Primarily Primates. Just another way for government agencies and bio labs to maintain control over their chimps at Chimp Haven. It still leaves me perplexed, however, as to why PETA (even given their reputation as excessively zealous) would want to participate in sending them to a government sanctuary. Its bizarre.. My sincere apologies for misjudging your organization and mistrusting your evaluation of the situation. I will do my best to be better informed in the future and not embarrass myself by opining a point of view before I know all the facts. Thank you for saving me from myself by not printing my posts. Sincerely, Sallie Wald

I heard that some apes were found dead in their exhibits because of reasons unclear. [Blog editors' note: Unlike Chimp Haven, Primarily Primates is a true sanctuary and it does not exhibit apes or other animals. Two chimpanzees did die after being transported from a lab at Ohio State to Texas. Both had pre-existing heart conditions -- which the necropsies showed as the cause of death in both cases.]

San Antonio papers are reporting that several chimpanzees have been sent to Chimp Haven. Can we have an update? Are these the OSU chimpanzees?

It is my fervent hope that the primates who have suffered so much over the years can find respite at the new sanctuary.

This is for Alex who wrote on Dec. 12,2006 about concern of "The Money Trail" on Primarily Primates. I know that the city of Borne has been looking for land to build a new high school. I also have a friend that works in one of the offices of WalMart in San Antonio and she mention to me that sometime ago Walmart was looking to put bid on some property of Primarily Primates, also a developing firm D.R.Horton wanted to bid on the remaining property of Primarily Primates. So "NO" I do not believe your concern is unwarranted. I am also concern because sometime ago I donated money to Primarily Primates to help purchase some land for Conservation and not for resale.

basically all I can say is, I hope that one day or maybe in your next life you will be the ones in the cages and suffering the way these animals do because of your neglect and cruelty! [Blog editors' note: We hope that in the next life cages and cruelty will not exist; we're doing our best to end them in this life.]

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