Sanctuary files suit to get chimps back

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A Texas animal sanctuary that has been embroiled in a protracted fight over the care of several chimpanzees formerly used for research at Ohio State University has filed a lawsuit to force the Louisiana sanctuary where the animals now live to return them.

San Antonio’s Primarily Primates cared for the seven chimps from Ohio State for several months last year. Last fall the Texas attorney general seized the facility under a temporary restraining order after complaints over living conditions there. In November, the animals were transferred to Chimp Haven in Louisiana by a court-appointed receiver running the facility.

Primarily Primates and the attorney general settled their dispute earlier this year, and the sanctuary’s restructured board now is moving to reclaim many of the relocated animals.

A spokesman for Chimp Haven said Monday he was unaware of the lawsuit.

“We believe we hold title to them,” said Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals, an animal advocacy group that is merging with the San Antonio sanctuary. “Their designated place of retirement was Primarily Primates.”

Monday’s lawsuit was filed in state district court.

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