Kinkajous Return, Controversy Remains

The article (May 24) about the controversy surrounding the ownership of four kinkajous failed to bring out some key facts.

The story noted that Cary Chevalier, a student who wishes to experiment on the animals and claims ownership of them, was able to have them taken away from Primarily Primates animal sanctuary in San Antonio.

But the story neglected to mention that the same Texas judge who granted a temporary order allowing Chevalier to get the animals has since fined him for violating court rules. In a full hearing on the issue held May 22, the judge ruled that Chevalier had unlawfully obtained the temporary restraining order.

It thus leaves one incredulous to hear UC Irvine Vice Chancellor Paul Sypherd say his university is trying to send a message to animal rights activists who he claims have taken animals without legal authority.

Given Chevalier's approach, should we assume UCI is exempting researchers from the requirement of following the law in obtaining animals?

In the article, Chevalier and Sypherd claim that the kinkajous were stolen from Chevalier. But the story omitted the fact that a grand jury has reviewed this case (at Chevalier's behest) and determined that no crime occurred.

The Ellis County, Tex., district attorney took Chevalier's claim of theft to the grand jury on April 5. The grand jury, composed of dispassionate citizens, failed to indict anyone.


Friends of Animals

Norwalk, Conn.

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