Warren County Memories book 20 Under 40

Official: Lemurs were not rabid

2010-08-16T14:09:00Z 2010-08-16T14:13:33Z Official: Lemurs were not rabidBy Don Lehman dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
August 16, 2010 2:09 pm  • 

The three ringtail lemurs seized from Ashville Game Farm last week after they apparently bit a young boy were euthanized Friday night and found not to be rabid, officials said.

The animals, which were the subject of a court battle last week, were tests by 9 p.m. Friday, Washington County Attorney Roger Wickes said.

Supreme Court Justice David Krogmann ordered the tests so that a 7-year-old Glenville boy who was apparently bitten by one of the lemurs at the farm July 31 would not have to complete precautionary rabies shots. They boy had gotten two of four shots, and was to get his next shot Monday.

The boy’s mother said she was told the day of the bite that the animals were up-to-date on their shots, but Ashville owner Jeff Ash provided no proof of any vaccinations in court on Friday.

Ash said Thursday he planned to close permanently after Labor Day weekend. He said the game farm’s last day will be Sept. 7.

Meanwhile, an investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Washington County District Attorney’s Office into the farm’s operations was continuing this week.

DEC Capt. Lawrence DiDonato said Monday that there was not timetable for a decision on whether charges would be filed.

A DEC lieutenant said last week that conservation officers found evidence of permit violations when they inspected the Lick Springs Road game farm.

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said his office was investigating whether Ashville’s staff endangered the welfare of children by allowing them to have contact, and apparently be bitten or scratched, by exotic species.

The game farm’s state permit requires that patrons not be allowed to have contact with animals, but The Post-Star has been contacted by at least three people who claim they or their children were bitten or scratched there this year.

The DEC asked that anyone who had been bitten, scratched or clawed by an animal at Ashville contact the agency at 877-457-5680.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(23) Comments

  1. concernedmomof2
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    concernedmomof2 - August 19, 2010 1:17 pm
    This story is a call to all parents! Please pay attention to your children! Yes, in a split second things can happen. I also know that kids get excited and run ahead. Teach your children to follow instructions and not put their hands in a cage. I have been to Ashville and I was impressed with the care the animals were given. This is sad that this wonderful opportunity for our local children to see exotic animals will be closing its doors due to greed by a few people. Please pay attention to your kids! If there is a fence, barrier, glass cover or signs to not touch the animals, please make sure your children are instructed to follow the rules! We will miss this local treasure!
  2. MsRandom
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    MsRandom - August 19, 2010 10:42 am
    These animals were caged. The likely hood of them coming in contact with rabies was minimal. They were killed for NOTHING. I went through rabies vaccination about 15 years ago and I got more than 4 shots AND they were not as horrifying as people said they were. A little sore, but tolerable. I believe I received 10 shots at that time.
  3. saveashville1
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    saveashville1 - August 19, 2010 1:34 am
    Well I believe that before anyone goes sharing their opinions they should have ALL of their facts straight. Obviously The Post Star is only going to post biased stories. Many people are posting everything but the facts on this story. Next time you make an opinion get the truth before hand or else you will be the one who is made a fool.
  4. sickntired
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    sickntired - August 18, 2010 8:26 pm
    I delivered this paper for 16 years and I always thought I was selling a good product. After seeing with my own eyes the biased reporting and "screened" comments I am sorry I was ever a part of this newspaper. After watching a female DEC agent with 25 years behind her, feed these now dead lemurs grapes through the fence a month ago and Ashville get crucified over it, makes me ill. I now know why so many of my previous customers left me notes to cancel their paper because of biased reporting!! Lets see if this one gets posted and please say hello to the great girls up in circulation..
  5. 1realitycheck
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    1realitycheck - August 18, 2010 6:34 pm
    Wow I guess I owe everyone an apology for going by the information that was written in various articles in the Post Star regarding this subject. Oh and also for also having an opinion that differs from everyone else's. How dare I. Please forgive my ignorance and stupidity. Shame on me!
  6. foxezoolover
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    foxezoolover - August 18, 2010 10:23 am
    please post what I have written it matters
  7. foxezoolover
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    foxezoolover - August 18, 2010 10:21 am
    I have been trying to post commenta but I am assuming they are screened because none of my past posts have made it up here. You need to get the facts correct and those facts are that Mr Ash did have records on his Lemurs and was told that vacination records di not matter due to the fact they never had a case of rabies in lemurs to see if the vaccine works in the first place second the judge would not allow Mr Ash and his attorney the time they asked for to get an expert witness in which to save the lemurs due to the family was due to go on vacation and did not want their pans interupted by haviung the have the next set of shots if they could just have the lemurs killed and proff of no rabies. The expert would have told them after a 10 day waiting peroid it would have told the story. That is the facts get it straight 1realitycheck u need a reality check and check your facts!!!
  8. mary0011
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    mary0011 - August 18, 2010 9:49 am
    realitycheck, you do need a reality check. Rabies shots are only proven to work in cats, dogs, hoofstock and ferrets. Therefore, giving them to Lemurs is totally useless. Mr Ash went to court, spent thousands of dollars trying to save these Lemurs hes raised since birth. All inspections passed, all paperwork was in order from Ashville. USDA deeded this exhibit and it's animals safe to the public. Cornell has studied Lemurs for 50 years and stated that the incubation of rabies in Lemurs is 10 days, therefore they were killed for no reason. Please stop acting like you know what you are talking about because obviously you do not. You are a coward hiding behind your computer screen because if you thought people or animals were in danger, then shame on you for not speaking up...
  9. smile1
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    smile1 - August 17, 2010 6:32 pm
    The whole situation is sad,the animals should have been protected properly with zero chance of anyone adult or child being able to reach insidethe cage. As many parents know all you have to do is turn your head for a minute for an accident to happen! Did the owner want this to happen, no did the mother want this to happen no. But there was fault on both ends,and the animals suffered because of it!
  10. 1realitycheck
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    1realitycheck - August 17, 2010 6:29 pm
    If you came to my house you would not be bitten or scratched by my pets, and in the extremely highly unlikely case that you were, I am a responsible pet owner, and I have had them properly vaccinated, and can provide current records from the vet showing this. So my pets would not need to be euthanized to be tested for rabies. People need to get it through their heads that the simple truth is Jeff Ash was not a responsible owner, he did not do as he was required to do, he could not provide any kind of proof that the animals were vaccinated. Whether the child was bitten or scratched by a lemur or on the fence or whatever, it doesn't really matter. If Ash had records of the shots, this would not have happened. I don't understand why people feel he should be exempt from the requirements. It is unfortunate and sad that the lemurs were lost. But it all could have been avoided if he did what he was supposed to do.
  11. LemurLover02
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    LemurLover02 - August 17, 2010 1:08 pm
    People can poiunt fingers at the owner as much as they want but in the end, 3 endagered lemurs were killed because a mother was so worried that her child (whom she obviously cant watch) was bitten, or scratched... God only knows, he could've scracted his hand on the door handle getting out of her car that morning, she wasnt paying attention (obviously) to her child. Mr. Ash, we will be back to see all the amazing animals you have. I'm sorry about the loss of your lemurs. My heart goes out to you and your family.
  12. animallover
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    animallover - August 17, 2010 12:00 pm
    I have been a volunteer for over 6 years with the zoo. The truth: The zoo will be closing it's doors to the public after Labor Day. Jeff will not let any more of his animals be put on death row. To the few people who have caused this: a paper cut to a one inch scratch, is not an animal attack! Animals have teeth and nails so if they are playing you might get scratched. Your own pet dog or cat is capable of the same thing. If I was visiting your home and was cut by your pet should I tell the Judge to destroy your beloved pet? This is how we at the zoo feel, we have lost three beloved pets. Now we wait and see how many more animals must leave the zoo. We wait for the DEC and the USDA to make their rulings. I am physically sick over this. I AM LOOSING MY BABIES!! To Jeff Ash: I have been blessed with hand raising, bottle feeding and working with some great animals. There or no words to show my gratitude for sharing your love of animals. I pray for you, the staff and all the animals!
  13. saveashville1
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    saveashville1 - August 17, 2010 1:26 am
    The DEC has inspected the zoo regularly for the past 7 years and have admitted they overlooked the lack of the perimeter fence surrounding the lemurs. The plaintiff also admitted she was unsure whether her child was indeed bitten by the lemur or scratched by the fence. Although Ashville will be closing its doors to the public on September 7th 2010 it is not going out of business, it is simply shutting out unnecessary cases like this one. Innocent animals are being killed selfishly. Please come to Ashville Game Farm and help us stop animal cruelty.
  14. Timefortruth
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    Timefortruth - August 17, 2010 12:25 am
    Read the article, missed the quote, thanks for pointing it out.

    Now, for everyone that thinks the zoo closing, it's not. If you have ever had your own business, you know the blood, sweat and tears that go into it. My heart goes out to Mr. Ash, this is like having a death in the family. I can only imagine what it must be like when you add in all the animals that you spent so much time caring for as well.

    Mr. Ash has had his share of problems, haven't we all.

    I wish him the best in his future endeavors.
  15. sotiredofit
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    sotiredofit - August 16, 2010 9:10 pm
    Time for Truth - if you read the article you would see this quote:
    "Ash said Thursday he planned to close permanently after Labor Day weekend. He said the game farm’s last day will be Sept. 7"
    By the way where were the parents when this so called 'bite' happened...sickening....
  16. gofishny
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    gofishny - August 16, 2010 8:58 pm
    Sorry but when you are at a zoo a place where you know you will be near wild animals and you have children rule #1 is to tell you child not to put their hands near the animals cage second you should be keeping an eye on your child at all times so let's euthanize these poor animals just for a matter of a couple shots.This whole thing makes me sick.I think we all knew the animals were not rabid.
  17. LemurLover02
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    LemurLover02 - August 16, 2010 8:50 pm
    Everyone knew they werent rabid!! Funny thing is we were at the park that very day and have a boat load of pics of our children feeding those very lemurs. They were very freindly and were fed very well throughout the day, theres no reason they wouldve put their teeth on someone unless they were being provoked. I do not believe anyone was even bit. They were the nicest animals that we interacted with and we spent a good deal of time near their cage that day. I agree with adirondacklover, give it a little time and you will see the owner get a lawsuit, its all about money.. anyone would figure that with the circumstances that led up to this. Its ridiculous and I hope she feels like crap, 3 dead Lemurs... And I did talk to the owners that day. They care greatly about each of the animals they have in that farm. I hope he stays open. My daughter loved it and I will make my way back there before they say its closing. Good luck Ashville in whatever happens.
  18. 1realitycheck
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    1realitycheck - August 16, 2010 8:33 pm
    I got my facts from this article, and the writer got his facts from Jeff Ash. If you actually read it, you will see it says "Ash said Thursday he planned to close permanently after labor say weekend he said the game farm's lady day will be September 7th."
  19. Timefortruth
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    Timefortruth - August 16, 2010 8:01 pm
    1realitycheck I am assuming you have a reliable source for your claim that the zoo is closing? I can't seem to find anything.

    Your help to legitimize your claim would be appreciated.
  20. 1realitycheck
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    1realitycheck - August 16, 2010 6:47 pm
    No one is to blame here but the owner of the 'zoo'. Had he been responsible, and followed the law, and made sure the animals were vaccinated, and kept records of it, and had proper enclosures where no one could touch the animals, this would not have happened. I am glad they will be closing. Hopefully he will relinquish ownership of all of the animals to facilities who are able to care for them properly.
  21. sotiredofit
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    sotiredofit - August 16, 2010 5:40 pm
    Apparently bitten ? I suppose ALL of the Lemurs bit him ???? Probably NONE bit him. This kid got 2 of the shots - why didn't he just get the last 2 ? Three innocent endangered creatures had to be DESTROYED so he didn't have to get the last 2 shots ??? Close down all the petting zoos and all zoos - let the kids eat McDonalds and play video games....so tired of all this
  22. firemanham39
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    firemanham39 - August 16, 2010 5:18 pm
    Well i could have told you that. Another case where someone is "Lawsuit Happy" and everyone rules in the plantiff and not the defendant. What a shame that poor endanjured animals had to die because of something like this.
  23. adirondacklover
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    adirondacklover - August 16, 2010 3:43 pm
    I think we all knew that the lemurs were not rabid and they should not have been destroyed. What a shame to lose more of an endangered species. I'm waiting for the mother to sue the zoo. That's usually what these cases are all about.


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