Florida the rules are different here Chapter XCIII
Eight military chimpanzees are coming to South Florida for their retirement years. Welcome to Lou and his buddies. Isn't this a great state or what!
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Jo, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson, Pirate's Cove,
A 43-year-old chimpanzee featured on Nature, a PBS series, is expected at his new home near Fort Pierce today, retiring from a life of being used for medical experiments.
Lou is one of eight chimps completing a 1,900-mile trip from Alamogordo, N.M., to St. Lucie County where they will feel grass under their feet for the first time in years.
Lou and his seven companions will bring to 100 the number of animals in the country's largest chimp preserve, operated by Save the Chimps west of Fort Pierce.
"We hope by mid-2009 to have about 300 chimpanzees here," said Terri Palumbo, development coordinator for Save the Chimps. "There are still 185 chimps in New Mexico."
Lou was born in Africa in 1964 and captured at a young age.
He was one of hundreds of chimps used for research in the space program or military projects, then turned over to the Coulston Foundation, which kept them in tiny cages in New Mexico.
The Coulston Foundation came under fire and lost its federal money because of its mistreatment of animals. Save the Chimps founder Carole Noon gained control of the chimps and is gradually moving all of them to Florida.
"After 40 years living in concrete and steel, he will finally be able to climb trees and feel grass under his feet," reported the Save the Chimps Web site regarding Lou. "He is a charming gentleman who loves all the ladies in his family, and maintains a cordial relationship with the competition, namely the other males in his group."
Lou's 2-inch thick Air Force file revealed he was used in experiments for several years and was later used for breeding, fathering 26 children.
Chimpanzees at Noon's preserve are housed in buildings connected by a land bridge to 12 islands where chimps can play, climb and do other things they would do in the wild.
Lou and two other chimps, Thotos and Ron, were featured in the PBS nature documentary Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History.