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20/20 show with Eugene Cussons about the Chimp attack at Chimp Eden

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Published on Aug 18, 2012

Eugene Cussons (facebook http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php...
Eugene Cussons;
I'd like everyone to understand the following: 1. I have done my best to deal with all the press the best I can. I did an interview with ABC and they used it for 20/20 and the message is the same as all the reports and findings thus far. We have given one message based on facts and statements from witnesses. Nothing is left to speculation.
2. We have never set out to attack, Andrew and I hope the message conveyed the sincere apology for the incident to the family. Independent authorities and chimp experts have found the same findings of territory defense by the chimps. I tried to explain this but I don't know if it reached the show but I will explain it again. The chimps never intended (premeditated) to escape and attack an individual, otherwise they would have charged the fence. The chimps only reacted once they felt Andrew kept on coming closer and finally touched a part of the fence which could have been seen as a territory challenge. When commenting on animal behavior you need to know something about it before participating. Making wild statements that are not scientifically justified is wrong and irresponsible.
3. All affected parties are of our concern. I wish I could be talking on a daily basis with the family but they prefer their privacy and we respect that. The reason why I'm still doing interviews is to ensure that answers are given to questions, otherwise wild statements by people that were not present will be made and that is dangerous.
4. Investigations by authorities have shown that the keepers, staff and everyone involved did their utmost best to save Andrew. Please don't diminish their valiant efforts as they did everything they could.
5. No media entity has been allowed to film the scene, that is where the confusion comes in, Andrew was not dragged away from the enclosure but NEXT to the enclosure. The chimps never attempted to leave the territory which indicates that they were only reacting to a perceived threat and targeted only people that tried to intervene. This could not be conveyed by press because they have not been given access to the scene out of respect for Andrew. Please give Andrew and the staff the means to recover from this incident and do not make things worst. Everyone needs support in order to put their lives back together.

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