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Founder of primate sanctuary excluded from reorganization

April 29, 2007 | Primarily Primates / Chimpanzees

San Antonio Express-News

Lisa Sandberg
Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - A probate judge Friday agreed to return a primate sanctuary in
Bexar County to a restructured board of directors in a settlement that
permanently excludes Wally Swett Jr., the facility's troubled founder, from
the premises.

The ruling by Travis County Judge Guy Herman tentatively ends a costly legal
battle over control of the sprawling Primarily Primates Inc. sanctuary,
which the judge placed under court control last year after the state
attorney general charged that the facility's managers had misspent thousands
of dollars in donations while hundreds of animals suffered in deplorable and
substandard conditions.

The judgment will leave the 400-plus animals, which include everything from
chimpanzees to capuchin monkeys to panthers, in new - or somewhat new -
hands.

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