did you guys ever read this one??
Chimps Attack, Tear Off Man's Nose
Two Of The Chimps Were Shot And Killed
Mar 4, 2005 1:42 pm US/Pacific
CALIENTE, Calif. (AP) A couple's visit to the chimpanzee they were forced to relinquish to an animal sanctuary turned tragic when two other chimps attacked the husband, critically wounding him before the animals were shot to death in mid-assault.
The son-in-law of the sanctuary's owner killed the animals that left St. James Davis, 62, in critical condition with massive injuries to his face, body and limbs, said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.
"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."
Davis' wife, LaDonna Davis, 64, suffered a bite wound to the hand while attempting to help her husband, Martarano said.
The Kern County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the attack at Animal Haven Ranch, which holds state permits to shelter exotic animals.
"A big part of the investigation will be figuring out whether the owners were in compliance with regulations," Sheriff's Cmdr. Hal Chealander said Friday. "There's a reason why those chimpanzees got out. It will be crucial to our investigation how they got out."
State wildlife and county health authorities also were testing the dead chimps for rabies and other diseases that could affect the victims' health, Chealander said.
The Davises were at the Animal Haven Ranch 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.
The couple had brought Moe a cake and were standing outside his cage when Buddy and Ollie, two of the four chimpanzees in the adjoining cage, attacked St. James Davis, Martarano said. Officials do not yet know how the chimps got out of their enclosure, he said.
Moe was not involved in Thursday's attack, Martarano said.
Dr. Maureen Martin, of Kern Medical Center, told KGET-TV of Bakersfield that the chimpanzees chewed most of Davis' face off and that he would require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose.
Davis was transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he had surgery late Thursday night, Martarano said.
The medical center would not release any information about Davis' condition on Friday. Hospital spokeswoman Julie Smith said the family requested confidentiality.
Chealander told The Bakersfield Californian that besides the damage to his face, Davis had his testicles and foot mauled off. Buddy, a 16-year-old male chimp, initiated the attack and after he was shot, Ollie, a 13-year-old male, grabbed the gravely injured man and dragged him down the road, according to Chealander.
"Everybody was trying to get the chimp off," Chealander said.
The son-in-law of the sanctuary's owners used a .45-caliber handgun to kill the out-of-control chimps, Chealander said.
Two other chimps, females named Susie and Bones, also escaped from the cage they shared with Ollie and Buddy, prompting sheriff's deputies, animal control workers and Fish and Game officials to launch a search.
The wayward pair were recovered after five hours. Martarano said one chimp was two miles from the sanctuary.
The Davises had waged an unsuccessful legal fight to bring Moe back to their West Covina home and visited him regularly at the sanctuary where he had been living since October. They brought the chimp from Africa decades ago after a poacher killed his mother.
Animal Haven Ranch has held state permits to shelter animals since 1985 and serves as a sanctuary for animals that have been confiscated or discovered lost, Martarano said.
It is allowed to house up to nine primates at one time and is home to one spider monkey and six chimpanzees, he said. The permits are held by Ralph and Virginia Brauer, who could not be reached immediately for comment.
A woman who answered the phone at the Brauer residence on Friday said the family is not talking to the media about the incident.
Chealander said the incident has been stunning to the owners.
"They've been up there for 20 years and nothing like this has ever happened, according to them. And we certainly don't have any reports of anything like this happening," Chealander said.
A woman who said she was a friend of the Brauers and was leaving the sanctuary Friday morning told an Associated Press reporter that the couple is distraught. She refused to give her name.
"These are good chimps," the woman said. "This is just devastating."
The sanctuary is 30 miles east of Bakersfield, in a steep canyon that winds past horse ranches and grazing cattle. It sits at the top of a dirt road carved into a rocky hillside that is covered in sage brush and oak trees.
Chimpanzees can turn surly if not handled properly, said Martine Colette, animal director of the Wildlife WayStation, a sanctuary near Los Angeles where Moe was housed for a time.
"Chimps are notoriously strong and they have some very, very specific behaviors," Colette said. "If someone tries to confine them, they will definitely put up a fight."
"An average person who doesn't know chimp body language can't read them," she added.
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When Chimps Attack... both very sad & twisted funny...
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