SOUTH AFRICA (KTVI) - A St Louis man working at a chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa was attacked by a group of the chimps and severely mauled.
Andrew Oberle is a University of Texas anthropology student working this summer at the Chimp Eden Sanctuary at the Jane Goodall Institute. The Beeld online site, an African newspaper, reports Oberle was leading a tour group at the institute on Thursday when two chimpanzees grabbed his feet and pulled him under a fence into their enclosure. The newspaper reports Oberle was dragged nearly a kilometer by the chimps and suffered "multiple and severe bite wounds". The newspaper reported Oberle lost part of an ear and parts of his fingers in the attack.
FOX 2 reached a member of Oberle's family in St. Louis. The family had no comment and was clearly concerned for Oberle's well being. They explained Oberle is in critical condition and being treated at a hospital near the Institute.
The Jane Goodall Institute posted a statement (read the statement) on its website today. In the statement, David Oosthuizen, Executive Director of the Institute, said "This is a terrible tragedy that should never happen. All our thoughts and prayers are with this young man and his family". The statement goes on to say the student, Oberle, was with a group of tourists at an enclosure that holds adult male chimpanzees when the incident occurred. The sanctuary staff acted immediately to move other visitors out of harm's way and to rescue the student. Paramedics rushed the student to the nearest medical care facility.
(Photos From Andrew Oberle's Facebook Page)