Alamogordo Primate Facility
This record for Ritchie Chimpanzee, id#4421, was
obtained thru a FOIA request to the Department of Health and Human
Ritchie was born August 11, 1981 and was found
dead in his cell on January 14, 2004 from what was determined to
be an accidental electrocution. Records indicate Ritchie was a carrier
for HCV and negative for HBV.
Reports received from DHHS indicate the following:
"Three healthy adult male chimpanzees from
adjacent dens died suddenly. Necropsies, performed shortly after
the time of death, did not determine an obvious cause of death.
Because of the similar circumstances of the deaths and their proximity
in both time and location, it was speculated that the animals were
electocuted. Two platforms on the common wall were found to be carrying
enough voltage to cause cardiac arrest if another metal object were
contacted simultaneously. Video records verified that, immediately
before collapse, one of the chimpanzees touched the cage mesh while
sitting on a platform."
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