Saturday, November 17, 2012

Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary to publicly exhibit bonobo Kanzi and others

I still haven't seen a press release coming from the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary (formerly Bonobo Hope, formerly Great Ape Trust), but word is zooming around cyberspace tonight. Following a rash of emails that represent a "board meeting" earlier this week, the IPLS is changing focus (once again) and will now open up the facility as a public exhibition. On Tuesday, USDA’s Heather Cole inspected the facilities and unofficially informed them that their application for an exhibitor’s license was approved.

This new move into public exhibition does not come as a surprise, since they started leveraging bonobo Panbanisha's tragic death as a fundraiser for a new visitor's center, almost immediately after her death. This is a screen grab from their website. (BTW, the strange symbols are on the site, it isn't a problem with your computer.)

Also to no one’s surprise, Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary has rejected all claims of the Bonobo 12, as reports circulate that certain board members are consumed with imaginary conspiracies against the organization. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh maintains control of the bonobos, although she won't be the director. They have appointed interim director Julie Gilmore as the permanent director.

So, what’s next? I'm going to take bets. I'm willing to wager that the board will now start making statements intended to scare the Bonobo 12 into backing off their public statements. I imagine that a legal threat or two, and maybe a couple of nasty insinuations, will be mighty tempting to Savage-Rumbaugh and her board members.

Panbanisha's death is being used as a fundraiser for a visitor's center at the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary.
For background, see Great Ape Trust.

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