UPDATE: Primarily Primates, a non-profit animal sanctuary in San Antonio, TX has stepped forward to give a permanent home to the four monkeys rescued by Animal Rescue Corps from a home in Tennessee.
ARC was in the area as part of a rescue mission to save 116 exotic birds from a breeding mill when they received an emergency call about an escaped monkey named Yoshi. Unfortunately that monkey was shot and killed by local police. Four other monkeys were found living in deplorable conditions in the home and were removed by the ARC Team. They were taken to an emergency shelter at the Nashville Fairgrounds.
Animal Rescue Corps knew they were being summoned last week to help Portland, TN police rescue exotic birds from a home that was being used as a front for a commercial bird breeding mill, but they didn’t know they would also be helping authorities round up four monkeys following an escape from a home nearby. A fifth monkey was shot and killed by police.
Rescuers from ARC in partnership with Ady Gil World Conservation arrived at the residence of Lasandra Walter who was running a commercial business called Hookbill Haven Aviary from her home. They found 116 exotic birds living in horrendous conditions with “months old feces on the floors” and dead birds in the kitchen freezer.
“These are the worst conditions for birds I’ve ever seen. Basic necessities have not been provided to them for a long time. Filthy enclosures, putrid water and inedible food in every cage. These are terribly inhumane conditions.” said Scotlund Haisley, president of ARC in a press release.
The rescuers found dozens of African Greys, Amazons, Cockatoos, Conures, Lovebirds, Pionus, Senegals and at least one Quaker parrot, an illegal breed in Tennessee, living throughout the house.
According to the Tennessean one African Grey was starving to death and rushed to a veterinarian who put the bird on oxygen. Another Amazon parrot had an infected open head wound and many of the other birds had conditions that included feather loss, malnutrition, missing limbs, beak deformation, multiple fractures and eye injuries.
The birds were transported to an emergency shelter that was set up at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville. PetSmart Charities donated much of the sheltering supplies and New Leash on Life is assisting in the care of the birds.
Ultimately the birds will be placed with shelters and rescue groups.
The Second Rescue
While saving the parrots, an unfortunate incident involving another exotic animal occurred in the next county. A macaque monkey named Yoshi escaped from his home and bit a woman in the leg. She had to be taken away in an ambulance.
Police found the monkey, but were not equipped to handle the situation. Yoshi jumped onto the back of one of the officers and began attacking and biting him. When the monkey grabbed at the officer’s face, Capt. David Williams shot and killed him.
Yoshi lived in the home of Wilma Smith who is serving time for manufacturing methamphetamine. Her husband had been caring for the monkey and four others that lived on the property.
Authorities recruited ARC to remove the macaques from the home. When the rescuers arrived on the scene they found the monkeys were living in deplorable conditions like the exotic birds.
One Java macaque was being held in a birdcage and another in a wire dog crate. They also found two Rhesus macaques in two approximately 6-foot-high pens with 25 square feet of floor space.
“The monkeys had no form of enrichment and no access to food or water,” said Haisley. “The social, emotional and physical toll this has taken on them is obvious.”
Animal Control transferred ownership of the animals to ARC who safely transported them to the Nashville Fairgrounds where the birds are being held. It’s ARC’s goal to have the monkeys live out the rest of their lives in a sanctuary in Texas.
“We tried to keep them together in a cage if they were together at the house,” said ARC spokesman Michael Cunningham. “That means they’re usually a family, and it keeps the stress down.”
Brenda Goodrich, director of Animal Control said, “I am grateful Animal Rescue Corps is in town.”
Photos: Animal Rescue Corps