From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2000:

Experiments of markedly contrasting
intent in raising young chimpanzees are underway
at the Primarily Primates sanctuary in San
Antonio, Texas, and the New Iberia Primate
Center on the campus of the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette.
In San Antonio, Primarily Primates
president Wally Swett is trying to hand-raise two
young chimps whose mothers were too psychologically
and physically scarred by use in biomedical
research to be able to rear them. His goal
is to produce happy, healthy adults who will be
able to live without maladjustment for the rest of
their lives in a sanctuary setting.
The first infant chimp, Deeter, is a
male who “was born at Primarily Primates on
May 28, 1999, after his mother Betty, a former
member of the NASA colony at Holloman Air
Force Base in New Mexico, arrived pregnant,”
Swett explains. “Sadly, Betty had deformed
breasts and couldn’t feed him.”

As Primarily Primates had no other
young chimps among the resident colony of about
50, Swett asked Frederick Coulton of the financially
troubled Coulston Foundation “to consider
retiring an infant female chimpanzee who could
be raised with Deeter and provide him with the
much-needed chimpanzee interaction he would
need to mature normally,” Swett continues.
The Coulston Foundation had reportedly
had several unplanned births, and has apparently
been economically strained by keeping
more than 600 chimps at a time when research
demand is relatively low. Eight days before
Deeter’s first birthday, the foundation sent 13-
month-old Jewel.
“Today Jewel and Deeter live together.
For the most part they are doing exceptionally
well, even though they are both going through
the terrible twos,” Swett reports. “Future plans
include building a nursery,” for which Primarily
Primates must raise $45,000, “and introducing
the two infants to Tina, an older female Air
Force chimp who according to the Coulston
Foundation care staff loves babies, and Betty,
Deeter’s mom, who has birthed eight infants but
never before had the opportunity to raise one.”
The Lafayette program, directed by
Daniel Povinelli, Ph.D., and funded by $1 million
from the McDonnell Foundation, is a comparative
study of chimpanzee and human brain
development. Povinelli intends to have eight sets
of human parents raise chimps from birth as if
they were human, and compare the chimps’
behavior and psychology to that of chimps raised
by chimpanzees.
It really isn’t a new experiment, points
out Ape Army founder Rick Bogle, now working
for In Defense of Animals. Povinelli has done
similar work before (of which Rattling the Cage
author Stephen Wise (page 21) is highly critical)
and so have many others.
“The history of cross-fostering is a
legacy of demolished lives,” says Bogle.
“Chimps raised as humans suffer abandonment
and betrayal as their maturity and strength leads
to the inability of the human foster parents to
manage and control them. Chimps who grow up
believing themselves to be human receive a rude
awakening as they are moved into cells to live out
the remainder of their lives, no longer able to
have physical contact with humans, and not
knowing how to interact with other chimpanzees.
Frequently these misfits go on to be used in biomedical
studies. And the anguish of the mothers
whose children are stolen remains unaddressed.”

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