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Debbie Cobb ( Suncoast Primate Sanctuary ) Return Zoe the Monkey to her Family before its too late !

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                                     Petition to Debbie Cobb

                    (Suncoast Primate Sanctuary , Palm Harbor Florida)


               Please Return Zoe the Monkey to Her Family Before its too Late !


    We are asking for Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida to return Zoe to her original home,where  she was healthy and happy. Her condition is deteriorating there and although Suncoast Primate Sanctuary  agreed returning her was best ,they are now failing to answer emails and calls .      Please Help Zoe Get home to the family who raised her.  Her name is Zoe. She was a tiny baby... and grew into a gorgeous, chubby healthy monkey . . Here is her story and why We  need your help .      

    My name is Linda , I am Zoes "mom". I got her six years ago  when she was a tiny baby . I bottle raised her and love her very much.          Zoe was a home raised monkey who grew up in comfort and love. Family tragedy and my husbands illness regretfully made my family decide a sanctuary was best for her .  A phone call to the Sanctuary reassured  and convinced me . I was heartbroken and  devastated but believed in my heart that I was doing what was good for Zoe........ not me.      However , Zoe has failed to thrive and for 2 years has declined and we are in fear for her life. I was told by Suncoast that she would be returned to me...but now the sanctuary is refusing to return her . So we need your help.  Please comment and share. .

     Zoe is a favorite of the sanctuary , because she loves people so very much.  She loves people   because of the love she has for her human family. She is visited   frequently by us and shows a very, very strong desire to be with us. We have always visited regulary. She cries when she knows we are leaving . She is  depressed or ill and has become emaciated . We need to save her . In the two years she has been at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida she has deteriorated in her condition as evidenced by these photos  (before and Now) taken the last week of July.

     Zoe is 6 Years old .  She was lovingly hand raised by my Husband and me . But Sadly..two years ago , our family under went some very terrible health problems. My husband Doug , (Zoes Human father) was becoming very ill, and  found out he had  prostate cancer. We  did overcome this  and he is well now.  My bother had stage 4 cancer and I lost an uncle and  a sister at this time . I lost 4 family members within the months following "donating" Zoe to this place. All this while battling Dougs own cancer.

    Our  family underwent so much crisis that they  felt we felt the best thing for Zoe was to be placed in a sanctuary .We  carefully researched and decided the best thing for Zoe was to go to SUNCOAST PRIMATE SANCTUARY in Florida . I called and Spoke to the owner Debbie who assured me it was the best thing for Zoe  .  We were Not allowed to see Zoe for 6 months. We  dropped her off with the instructions for her nightly bottle and two giant green bags of toys that were never seen again.  Debbie informed me that Zoe did not need any more bottles. and no longer gave them to her. Debbie had assured us, that Zoe would now "be a Monkey" and "do what monkeys do and have monkey friends " and would be happy with other monkeys . I checked the various sanctuaries and decided on Suncoast after speaking to the owner who made me feel this was best for Zoe .

     My heart was broken...........but I  believed that Zoe would now be in a great place and she would live happily there.  I pictured her jumping and playing happily in my mind.. But sadly this is Not the case.         We have  always visited Zoe on a regular basis in the 2 years she has been there. the first visit upset me terribly because Zoe had dropped weight and Debbie assured us that was normal . Admittedly ,it may be true that an animal can drop weight if no longer given a bottle or stressed, depressed.  However 2 years have passed and any adjustments should well have been made by this time . If Zoe were happy .    Zoe has continued a steady decline and I am living in fear that her life is in jeopardy. I believe her condition at this time is life threatening.  I want my vet to do a full workup  on her .  

     The last week in July 2013, I asked an experienced monkey person to come with and give me her opinion of Zoes condition. She agreed with me and was  extremely concerned for Zoe. She had known Zoe before she went to the Sanctuary . She agrees that her life was  probably in jeopardy. It was that day in July, I asked for Zoe back.  We believe she is being prevented from receiving the care she needs . and that the sanctuary has stalled us as they attempt to fatten her and cover for her condition . See PHOTOS taken by my friend that day ..  compared to the photos of her back when she was with us 2 years prior . The difference is remarkable and points out why I am so concerned about her health.

  Zoe is fed frequently at Suncoast ..and yet continues to decline .I am also concerned about her living conditions. She hears my voice as soon as I enter the facility and calls loudly to me, When i get to her "enclosure"  She practically pushes herself through the chain link to get to me . note the Enclosure in the photos is chainlink and concrete,  with some fire hose and a red plastic barrel (her only place to seek privacy  from the activity there ). It is Very hot there.There really is no shade in her area. Unless of course by now she has been moved to a more presentable place.   I do have photos of her enclosure..You can see both Sides of her "enclosure" and  there is no security ,privacy or enrichment to speak of  ..minimum at best .     

      This is Not a case of someone changing their minds and wanting their monkey back .I am terrified for her . I live now with constant grief and sadness over my mistake .  I think of her every time it rains (she hated thunder and would cuddle to me ) . I wonder if she is wet, cold, sick. and thinking of us .. I am living a nightmare of guilt and worry . I beg forgiveness from everyone reading this for making this mistake , but I need help to save my baby.       She is in with a Bossy male monkey .I have been told by volunteers there that he bullies her . I have observed patches of her hair missing (which i am told by the volunteers is from him biting her hair in clumps.). There was a recent comment on The Suncoast Primate facebook page by one of their staff  that her roommate has a Napoleon complex .However that has since been removed.       

     Zoe was a tiny baby. I often wondered if she was premature, but she soon grew out of that .Debbie the owner,now says that Zoes weight loss is due to a "growth spurt or that she was premature " and I do not believe this is true. In fact she looks and feels much smaller than she did before. .I am beside my self with worry for Zoe. Zoe was Not skinny when with us . She was chubby , shiny and happy looking.  

    In July when i asked for her back . I was told that  was best, and that she was going to be returned  as soon as my Fla permit was renewed . My husband Doug and I went out and bought a new enclosure . We assembled and completed it , we bought an indoor cage as well and loads of toys and a cage for inside the house . And we built a large outdoor play enclosure .BUT......Fish and wildlife needed to Ok the new place. and the Deputy could not come for two weeks .Dot Raines at F.W.C.  suggested my friend take her to her Home facility in the meantime as her inspection was just done and her permit is current and good. , however Suncoast would not allow that .I was told I would get her when I have permit in hand  and so I held my breath for weeks as the red tape fell in front of me.     Once our inspection was done and our new enclosures were complete, Debbie stopped answering my emails . She  would not return phone calls and has now decided she does not want to return Zoe. 

    Debbie  told me " Why dont you Move on Linda........ Zoe has moved on ".       BUT...... Zoe has not moved on and I am asking for help to get her back to us. I will be so happy to post photos as she blooms once again in our love and care.Our  family (my son) has vowed no matter what happens in life she would stay in  our family and be loved for her whole life. We need her back and she needs us.      I have offered to compensate the Sanctuary , We are not rich and our family lost a lot through Dougs illness .  We are still paying medical bills. We have asked, (been told yes it was the best thing ) and Now are being blown off.   Please help us to get Zoe back home where we can find out what if anything Physical is wrong,,,  and love her back to health .  Please look at her photos and sign this petition to help Zoe come home, where she is very much wanted and loved.                

      I feel I signed her over with a contract that stated she would be provided as stated.. with food ,shelter and veterinary care for the rest of her life.  I feel this contract is in breach and I am asking for my baby to come home. I am so scared for Zoe out there in her condition with the curent heat and winter approaching ,Sitting in her red plastic barrel .    Fish and Wildlife went to see Zoe and said "she was very skinny" but couldn't tell if she was emaciated as it was a visual inspection.  They said they couldn't force Suncoast to have Zoe  evaluated . USDA had visited earlier in the year and hadnt noted anything wrong in the walk through inspection. No one has physically touched her or examined her closer than from a few feet away through the chain link who was not part of the sanctuary .


   When you touch her you feel every bone clearly and definitely.  See her collarbone in photos and her sunken cheeks . I felt her spinal Bumps easily and her ribs can be easily felt .  She feels to touch, much worse than her photos show. But FWC will not touch her .              Below are letters , photos and comments by experts.  Please help us get Zoe home where she is loved and safe. and turn this terrible mistake around before it is too late for Zoe.   Please sign and pass this petition around as soon as possible. Once Zoe is returned ,no further action will be taken and we will ask the monkey community to thank Debbie Cobb for putting Zoes best interest ahead of the Sanctuary's and returning  Zoe to her family ..                               Thank You.        Sincerely,   Linda Estes        


    A few Quotes after seeing the photos below.

  Wendelin Ringel  Dvm
     "As both a monkey owner and a veterinarian, I am not only heartbroken and saddened but outraged by the debilitated condition that poor, pitiful Zoe is in. I have seen criminal charges levied on owners of animals in the same or not as severe physical state that Zoe is presented as.. It is evident that Zoe is not thriving in her current situation; therefore, she needs to be removed and put in an improved environment. I guarantee if Zoe were a child and not a monkey, then, results would be happening and fast .  I do think she would do better back with the origional family and should be returned asap and question the reason the sanctuary is not doing this . "  

Joe Schreibvogel  ( United States Zoological Association  Founder of GW Memorial Exotic Animal Park ) .........".What is a sanctuary to me? It should be a place to keep animals until loving homes can be found if possible. That's our job, not to horde animals and more animals.....This monkey is clearly emaciated and rotting away in this so called sanctuary. Removing her would be the only way to save her ."  

Prudence Walker DVM. "My evaluation is only based on a pictorial review of this capuchin: The animal in question is cachexic, indicating major weight loss due to either a metabolic problem or "failure to thrive". Any layperson could look at this monkey and be horrified by it's emaciated face.    The human-animal bond has been well documented in scientific articles and animals .Monkeys, raised by humans have a an immeasurable attachment to their human troope and can not be substituted by a sanctuary setting. Like a foster child, they will adapt to their new setting but will be affected by the permanent loss of their human family. This loss will result in negative behavioral attributes such as isolation, self-mutilation, weight loss due to inability to express domination in food gathering, fear based behaviors due to lack of coping skills with in a primate troope. This is the highest form of neglect you can do to a human imprinted monkey. The balance of their life will be affected with the sense of not fitting in and inability to compete. Abuse has many faces and you can be sure, this is one of them. Prudence Walker, DVM, exotic and primate medicine 865-329-0003 "  

Pat Cusick  RN   " I am an RN and can easily see this baby has lost subcutaneous fat ,no muscle. You don't need a degree in anything to do the right thing and send her home.
When you are with someone over time, changes in weight and body composition are not always obvious. Now that the dramatic change had been brought to their attention they need to send her home before it is too late
There is no place like home.  

Connie Ferguson Perryman (more than 20 years experience with Helping Hands Monkeys ) "This little monkey has definite health issues...she must be helped and i feel its best to return her to her family! "


Peggy Rice  ( Founder of American Primate Haven )   "OMG she looks like she is 16..  get her out of there !  Doing right by an animal is Always about the sacrifices we make concerning the welfare of the animal , not just about owning it . "




Below are emails stating Zoe would be returned to Linda and in full agreement of her concerns . Dr Scott and Debbie Cobb run the sanctuary .    


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "" <>
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2013 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Urgent

    I am ok with you getting her I just have to have it fit everyone's schedule.  I have been there for her and peewee and looking out for the safety of all. Thanks for understanding.

-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Estes <>
To: spsfi <>; dscott1 <>
Sent: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 3:05 pm
Subject: Re: Fw: Urgent

 What do you mean by your backup. Once she is released to me you  are not responsible anymore. And why not Monday? If you aren't available why can't you have the papers ready and Dr. Scott can meet me there. He has already said I could come get her and gave me no time line. I want to have her checked as soon as possible. I also have to have it fit my schedule. I already have an appt. for her.

  From: "" <>
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2013 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Urgent


    Sorry I will not be available to do that Monday . I will let you know when I can do that safely with my back up. also for Peewee since I am concerned for both. Thanks


-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Estes <>
To: spsfi <>
Sent: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 11:05 am
Subject: Re: Fw: Urgent

Debbie,   I was told to go through Dr. Scott and that is what I am doing. I was told I could pick her up, take her to the vet and keep her permanently. He asked me if I still have my license and I do. I will be contacting Fish and Wildlife before I come tomorrow so everything will be legal. Dr. Scott said all I have to do with you is sign release forms from you to me. I am taking her to Dr. Kern in Springfield for blood, fecal, and urine testing. Will let you know results.   Thanks, Zoe's mommy  


  From: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2013 7:53 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Urgent

  Please send me your fwc lic. Before hand so I can make arrangement's . Still waiting for name of Doctor and any other information you may have before I move forward. Thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Estes <>
To: spsfi <>
Sent: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 2:38 pm
Subject: Fw: Urgent


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Scott, David L.,M.D." < DSCOTT1@PARTNERS.ORG>
To: Linda Estes <>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:19 PM
Subject: RE: Urgent

Dear Ms. Estes:   I have discussed your concerns with Debbie, Ken and several of the other caregivers at the Sanctuary.  They seem reasonably comfortable that she is doing okay.  However, clearly you have the most experience with her and I trust your instincts.   I am strongly in favor of your request to take Zoe to a veterinarian of your choice for a thorough exam and evaluation.  You will need to arrange this with Debbie and sign a release when Zoe is transferred to your custody.  I assume that you still have the appropriate State licenses.    I would appreciate it if you would share with the Sanctuary the results of Zoe's evaluation.  Obviously, if there are any potentially communicable diseases, the Sanctuary will need to treat all affected.   Cheers,   David


  From: Linda Estes []
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 3:11 PM
To: Scott, David L.,M.D.
Subject: Urgent
  Dr. Scott,   I know that you are aware of the conversation going on between Debbie and myself. I would like for you to go and feel her back and ribs and see if you can tell me honestly that she is not emaciated   All I am asking is if I can take her to a vet. and have a full work up on her under anesthesia. That's blood, fecal, and urine. If their is a problem I will be willing to pay for whatever she needs. I just want to make sure my baby is ok.   I would like for you to get back to me as soon as possible.   Thank You,   Linda, Zoe's mommy.    

  The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary a 501c3 Sanctuary  is open to the public and is located at


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