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As the Interim Executive Director of Primarily Primates, this letter is in response to the Mary Beth Sweetland letter of October 16, 2006 sent to the Board of Directors of Friends of Animals.

Sweetland asks why Friends of Animals is helping to aid and abet Wallace Swett. First of all, Wallace Swett has not been the president or the executive director for about 2 months, a fact that PETA chooses to conveniently ignore. For the past two months I have been running the sanctuary. Second, Friends of Animals supports our sanctuary and our animals and not individuals. And I am sure Friends of Animals will have plenty to say in the future about PETA's hideous attack against a nonprofit animal sanctuary that has saved hundreds of animals from death and abuse, and why PETA prefers to attack us rather than going after the thousands of breeders, dealers and exhibitors who truly are abusing animals. We will have more to say too. As I write, PETA, consistent with their past record of animal care, is making plans to kill Primarily Primates' animals rather than providing for their long term care.

Primarily Primates uses a large staff of veterinarians, depending on their special field of expertise. For example, just within the past 6 weeks, I have witnessed the following veterinary medical care: Dr. Kirk, a primate specialist, and our primary veterinarian, has visited our sanctuary every week. She has collected fecal samples and blood on numerous chimpanzees, including those of the OSU case, two baboons, and one bonnet macaque. When needed, she has preformed necropsies. Dr. Thomas Vice has also performed necropsies in the past, and recently treated a colobus monkey. In addition, Dr. Kathy Braske performed a culture on a Colobus monkey, and Dr. J. Pat Mims has provided veterinary medical consultation. I have also consulted with Dr. Thomas Butler for advice when Oliver our elderly chimpanzee was experiencing an apparent stroke. Lastly, I was in contact with Dr. Pat Frost who aided Primarily Primates by donating HI-Pro monkey chow to help the OSU chimpanzees. They are refusing to eat any other primate diet other than the one they were fed at OSU. In total, 6 veterinarians have assisted me in the last 6 weeks with animal care and medical emergencies.

Over the course of many years, we have attempted to hire different individuals to apply enrichment techniques for the animals. Many animal enclosures have toys, branches, swings, balls, barrows, ropes, and other child play toys. However, it is imperative to remember that all primates are not alike. Each have different needs and in some cases, what could be determined as behavioral enrichment for one primate, may injure another. Enrichment does not mean everyone should get a blanket... for some primates, tearing into blankets can result in the fabric strands choking an animal, or it could get tied around a hand or foot, or if swallowed could cause an animal to have blockage or bloody stools. For example, fiber (leaves and branches) works well for most all chimpanzees. However, there are 2 chimpanzees with histories of hemorrhoids and other problems which result from the intake of such fiber. Because PETA does not know the medical history of these animals, nor are they even answering the telephone to speak with our veterinarian, they are potentially endangering the lives of these chimpanzees by "pretending" they are being humane and providing enrichment. In fact, they are potentially killing animals whose histories they know nothing about.

PETA may think it is cute to provide chimpanzees with blankets at this time of the year, and great for their photo opportunities, but it is extremely dangerous to the health of the chimpanzees. What PETA simply does not comprehend is that blankets provide an artificial form of heat. The chimpanzees, of course, love to play with them. They also love hay. And they love leafy branches to make nests. This is all observed in any nature show. But if you watch nature shows you will also see that the chimps build these nests high in tropical African rain forests where they will not encounter temperatures that fall into the 20's and below. Yes it is great to give the chimps a blanket, but in doing so, they are giving the chimps a false sense of heat and they will sleep out at night in the middle of the coldest times of the year, and die. PETA once again is demonstrating its ignorance in the care of chimpanzees by not helping the chimpanzees to understand that during this period of the year, they must retreat indoors were the inside bedrooms are temperature controlled. PETA is stupidly going to kill chimpanzees who will remain outdoors covered in their little cute blanket when the temperature can drop from the 80's one moment to freezing temperatures by sundown.
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