'Miracle' that man survived chimp attack

2012-07-06 22:10

Johannesburg - The United States researcher who was attacked by two male chimpanzees at the Chimp Eden rehabilitation centre, in Mpumalanga, was recovering, his parents said on Friday.

"We would like all to know that Andrew [Oberle] is recovering from his ordeal, although he remains in a critical, but stable, condition," said Mary Flint and Andrew Oberle.

Oberle, 26, a post-graduate student in anthropology and primatology at the University of Texas in San Antonio, reportedly climbed through a fence surrounding the chimps enclosure on June 28.

The animals became enraged and pulled him under a second fence, which was electrified.

His parents extended their gratitude to those who sent their wishes for Oberle and to the medical staff who treated him.

"It is truly a miracle that he survived this brutal attack."

On Monday. it was reported that the chimps would not be euthanised.

Eugene Cussons, managing director of Chimp Eden, said a Mpumalanga tourism and parks board investigation found that the chimps had reacted much like any threatened wild animal.

Oberle reportedly lost parts of his fingers and toes, sustained several bone fractures and was bitten all over his body.

  • colin.ashby.35 - 2012-07-06 22:42

    americans don't seem to know what the term wild animal means. they walk up to bears, get out of cars to film lions close up....

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-06 22:42

    For reasons yet to be established, News24 now precludes me from expressing my opinion regarding anything relating to ch*mp*nz**s. So I'll stick to the weather then. Bloody cold and wet, don't you agree?

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-06 22:58

      Funny you should say that Antin ..... I had the same problem and my comment was entirely zoological by nature and nothing to do with other thoughts I was entertaining at the time. Yet as soon as the CXXXP word was used I was deleted.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-06 23:03

      PS - yes it is wet and cold. Hopefully we won't get censored for expressing such a negative comment ....

      nicholas.graan - 2012-07-07 00:00

      We had more freedom of speech during the days of Apartheid that wind I hear blowing through the leaves outside?

      Walter - 2012-07-07 07:04

      Antin, perhaps you likened the chimps to one of our better known politicians! Seriously, I hope that Andrew Oberle makes a rapid recovery. Also thankful that the authorities have not decided to take "revenge" against the chimps who were just reacting to what they perceived was a threat.

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-07 07:58

      I agree totally about the censorship on this site... the person screening and deleting comments needs a brain cell...yes, thats YOU, I'm talking about YOU. Btw, anyone know who owns News24?

  • des.cider - 2012-07-06 22:45

    I am very sorry to learn that a man was attacked and suffered injuries, and am pleased to learn that he and the apes are recovering. Hopefully, his research will be more careful in future, and the apes will be more understanding and accepting...

      patrick.eyre.5 - 2012-07-07 11:56

      @des.cider - "the apes will be more understanding and accepting..." Dude, please do yourself a favour and go look up the word 'anthropomorphise', you could learn something ;)

  • yvettesteven.loots - 2012-07-06 22:55

    Hoop hy word gou gesond.

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-07-06 23:21

    Any animal is to be considered wild, including cats and dogs and as soon as you infringe on what they perceive as their territory then that is your own stupidity. Do not treat any animal as a friend until it accepts you.

  • mike.spowart - 2012-07-07 00:44

    The safety precautions at Chimp Eden appear to be inadequate. Was Oberle issued with mace or pepper spray? This should be standard issue for all staff. Chimps are very dangerous - just think of the case where a woman had a face transplant after her face was ripped off by a friend's pet chimp. Also, the electric fence tripped and was clearly ineffective. Sorry, Chimp Eden, but the liability clearly rests with you.

      irma.white.9 - 2012-07-07 07:55

      Uhhhhh...... the dude jumped over the security fence. He wasn't even supposed to be there. It isn't like the chimps got out. As a student studying these creatures, HE should have known not to go there! OK, if a burglar jumped over your fence, your dogs attacked him, are you going to say that your safety measures are rubbish because someone got attacked and injured or are you going to say that the burglar shouldn't have been there in the first place? I think the latter and I'm sure you would have been very peeved if your dogs were sprayed with pepper spray.

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-07-07 08:03

      And mike suppose they were issued with pepper spray and an employee didn't carry theirs with them.... then I suppose Ch*mp Eden would be liable because they did not do a body search each day to make sure you were carrying it on you? The electric fence is not there to stay on to prevent a body being dragged through it. It is there to shock when touched to ward a person away from the fence!

      gski700902 - 2012-07-07 09:23

      He's 26, and has some formal education. One therefore have to assume he's not entirely stupid. So why would he then climb over a fence into an enclosure he probably shouldn't have been in to start with? To blame the facility is naive. There are more than likely sufficient warnings and disclaimers signposted, not to mention doucumented rules/regulations/procedures that this guy clearly ignored. An animal in captivity is STILL a wild animal. He climbed over the fence, technically invading the chimps' territory. I doubt anyone forced him to do so. He he needs to take responsibility for his own actions and accept the consequences of his own poor judgement.

  • oriel.terry - 2012-07-07 10:12

    Speedy recovery to Andrew and thoughts are with his parents. There is a lot of speculation mulling around as to what actually happened and until a national inquiry is undertaken by a team of independent specialist in that field (not by local conservations). Saying this, Chimp Eden is a fantastic place to visit and I applaud the work undertaken by Eugene Cussons and his team for the work that they do. Oriel Andrews Durban

  • kaybee.kubu - 2012-07-08 16:22

    God is great..., Believe it!!!

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