JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -
The Las Vegas Zoo suddenly shuts down. There were more than 200 animals inside. Most of the animals were relocated but there were four monkeys and a chimpanzee left behind.
"Their entire staff walked out 14 days ago. There was no one there to feed or care for the animals. This was truly an emergency and had to be addressed right away," says April Truitt, the Executive Director of the Primate Rescue Center in Kentucky.
After finding out about the situation nearly two thousand miles away, the Primate Rescue Center got involved.
"We visited in 1999 and we were just appalled by what we saw then. It had not improved since," says Truitt.
Employees headed to Vegas to pick up the monkeys and bring them back to the Bluegrass. The chimpanzee was taken to Save the Chimps in Florida.
"Knowing that we're at capacity and we don't have an ideal situation to put them in and we will have to build for them. We estimate that building cost to be around $60,000," Truitt says.
Employees at the Primate Rescue Center care for more than fifty monkeys at its Nicholasville facility.
"We are dependent completely on public donations and our expenses continue this operation at $1,000 every day, 24/7, 365 days a year," Truitt says.
Staff hope they can provide the same life for these four rescues.
"We're appealing to the public for the donation of labor, material and money to help us do that for these animals," adds Truitt.
The monkeys will remain under quarantine for 30 days. Staff describe the monkeys as obese. They plan to put them on a new diet to get them down to a normal weight. Truitt says one of the monkey's has a mass on her abdomen and they all have some dental problems.
Staff are now waiting for blood results to determine if there any health concerns. But, it's expected these rescues will live at the center for 10 to 20 years.
If you'd like more information or would like to make a donation, here's a link to the Primate Rescue Center's website: http://www.primaterescue.org/