Chimps who attacked researcher spared

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iol news pic chimpanzee AP File picture - One of the chimpanzees that savagely attacked American student Andrew Oberle is recovering at a zoo.

The two male chimpanzee which attacked a United States researcher at the Chimp Eden rehabilitation centre, in Mpumalanga, last week will not be euthanised, Beeld reported on Monday.

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

Andrew Oberle, 26, who is a post-graduate student in anthropology and primatology at the University of Texas, in San Antonio, in the United States, reportedly climbed through a fence surrounding their enclosure.

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

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

His mother Mary Flint, who would arrive in South Africa on Monday, told Beeld her son had been aware of the dangers.

“He's loved these animals since childhood. I hope, after all this, that he still will,” she said.

Oberle was in a stable condition in the Nelspruit Mediclinic. - Sapa


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