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For Immediate Release: 06/18/03

New Director to Manage Animal Protection Institute's Primate Sanctuary

Sacramento, CA — The Animal Protection Institute (API), one of the leading animal advocacy organizations in the United States, is proud to announce that Dr. Ned C. Buyukmihci, VMD, a leading proponent of animal rights and an experienced animal sanctuary director, will become the new director of the API Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, TX.

Dr. Buyukmihci, currently co-director of Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals, will relocate from Vacaville, CA, to Texas this August. The 186-acre primate sanctuary is located south of San Antonio, TX, and is home to more than 400 rescued and retired snow monkeys, baboons, and vervets.

Dr. Buyukmichi also recently retired from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine at Davis, where he was professor of ophthalmology.

“We are excited about Dr. Buyukmihci joining API as our new sanctuary director. His years of experience with animal sanctuaries and veterinary care, along with his commitment to animal rights makes him the ideal candidate to build API’s Primate Sanctuary into the national model it can be,” said Gary Pike, chair of API’s Board of Directors. “API has ambitious plans for the sanctuary and Ned’s appointment and the expertise that he brings to the organization position us to implement effective long-term changes so we can continue to provide a wonderful home to even more primates rescued from horribly abusive situations in research facilities, roadside zoos, and as exotic pets.”

“Ned has been a friend of API for many years, serving as an advisor on animal care issues and participating in our public education programs against animal trapping. His experience as co-founder and president of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights will serve him well as he represents the API Primate Sanctuary at symposia throughout the United States,” said Pike.

“Caring for other-than-human animals is my passion,” said Dr. Ned Buyukmihci. “Our society is all too indifferent to the suffering animals experience from needless medical research, in inhumane roadside zoos or as exotic pets who, more often than not, are discarded when they grow out of their cute, infant stage and turn vicious and uncontrollable. I look forward to helping as many of these primates as possible live as natural a life as we can provide them, accepting that we cannot undo completely the harm human beings have already caused them.”

API also announced today that the name of the sanctuary is being changed to better reflect its mission. Originally named the Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary, API rescued the financially failing organization in January of 2000. At that time, API built new caging for a group of twenty baboons that were provided sanctuary after 15 years as subjects of medical research in the Boston area. Additionally, a third species of small primates — vervets — was rescued from medical research facilities and from private ownership as pets. Now, the sanctuary that provides home to Japanese macaques (snow monkeys), vervets and baboons will be known as the Animal Protection Institute Primate Sanctuary.

The Animal Protection Institute is a 35-year-old national non-profit animal advocacy organization with nearly 90,000 members, working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through policy change, grassroots activism, litigation and public education. For more information about API, the API Primate Sanctuary, and the organization’s mission, campaigns, and activities, please visit www.api4animals.org.

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