A commenter by the handle, DAB, made me very aware of Chimp Haven’s mismanagement details when I was praising them on their AAALAC accreditation achievement. And it seems like now mismanagement problems DAB eluded to have now become official enough to sue Chimp Haven over.
Here are some of the details of the suit being charged against the organization that I got from here, “Chimp Haven directors sued; group claims mismanagement,”
“A group of donors and supporters of Chimp Haven Inc., in Keithville have filed suit accusing the institution’s directors of mismanaging the facility.
Virginia K. Shehee, Mary Jansen, Tim and Sarah Goeders, Linda Koebner and others have asked the court for an injunction against the directors of the nonprofit residence for chimpanzees formerly used for research.
Director and President Linda Brent and director and Chairman of the Board Tom Butler are directly named in the suit.
The plaintiffs believe the defendants “have mismanaged the Chimp Haven Project in Caddo Parish in violation of that corporation’s purpose, to the detriment of the animals residing at Chimp Haven and to the detriment of fundraising and additional grant opportunities on which Chimp Haven must rely on to survive,” according to the suit filed recently.”
Of course the organization is denying the claims, as the organization opened its doors to a news team “in response to a lawsuit from some donors and supporters claiming mismanagement and poor care.” While, I know the best interests of the chimpanzees are at stake, I am a bit concerned how the death of a chimp named Woodruff who died of a heart attack while placed with three aggressive males, will be used as corroborative evidence for mismanagement. It may have been the directors decision, but a heart attack can be stress induced, genetic, or diet/excercise related. For an animal in capitivity, a combination of these three had a play in his untimely death.
I also wonder about how great apes will now play are role in our law system. Are we seeing people now begin to punish caregivers of great apes because we are seeing them as being more human?