'My son has loved chimps since he was a child': Mother speaks out as American student fights for life after two apes drag him more than a mile in horr


Attack: Andrew Oberle, a University of Texas graduate student was savaged by two chimps while leading a group of tourists at the Jane Goodall Institute in South Africa

A University of Texas graduate student was left fighting for his life on Thursday after two chimpanzees pounced on him at the South African reserve where he was studying their behaviour, dragging him along the ground for more than a mile.
The mother of 26-year-old Andrew Oberle said that her son had been passionate about chimps since watching a documentary about famous naturalist Jane Goodall in seventh grade.
Mary Flint added that her son knew the risks involved in working with apes, and said that the attack would probably not stop him carrying out further research.

Brutal: Andrew Oberle, was dragged more than a mile by the chimps

In a case that mirrors that of Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman, who in 2009 had her face ripped off by a 200-pound chimp, Mr Oberle suffered a ‘frenzied’ attack, in which he was bitten multiple times.
The beasts, named Mickey and Amadeus, grabbed him by his feet and yanked him down the road, under a fence and into their enclosure at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimp Eden near Nelspruit, South Africa, where paramedics were forced to wait for armed escorts before they could go in and treat him.

Brutal: Stacey Johns (right) a friend of Oberle's on Facebook, was hit in the head by a rock launched by Cozy (left). 'Cozy may hit people in the head with rocks but it's not his fault' Oberle wrote on the site

Mr Oberle, an American researcher, was giving tourists a lecture at the sanctuary as part of his master's degree in Anthropology and Primatology, based at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
He had crossed the first of two fences separating the chimpanzees from visitors and was standing close to the second fence, which is electrified, when the attack began.
The tourists were escorted to safety by staff members as the chimpanzees dragged Mr Oberle out of their enclosure. The sanctuary's director fired shots into the air to scare the chimps away from the man, before chasing the animals back into their enclosure.

Calm before the storm: On Facebook these sleeping chimps (not the ones which attacked) are described as 'cute'

Medics stabilised the graduate at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to a private hospital in Nelspruit. Beeld reported that he lost part of an ear and parts of his fingers.
'When we found him, he was in a foetal position underneath a lapa (a roofed, open-walled structure) with massive injuries, lacerations, abrasions, partial amputation from his head to toe,' Lloyd Krause, ER24 emergency service spokesman told the Herald Sun.
'He lost an ear, he lost a number of fingers and toes, he's got very deep wounds, he's got total removal of skin and muscle off his one leg and his one arm, fractures all over the place.'

Animal lover: In this undated photo Andrew Orbele poses one of his charges

Powerful beasts: Chimpanzees sit in an enclosure at the Chimp Eden rehabilitation center, near Nelspruit, South Africa

On Oberle's Facebook page he is listed as being from Saint Louis, Missouri. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas, but has been in South Africa since May.
He recently posted photographs of the chimps he was working with on the website, tagged with comments such as 'so cute' beside a picture of two of them sleeping.
Another portrays a wide-mouthed chimp named Cozy, who suffered brain damage after being abused prior to his rescue. Oberle describes the primate as 'still the best', adding: 'Cozy may hit people in the head with rocks but it's not his fault'.
One of Cozy's victims, Stacey Johns, is also pictured in the album with blood pouring from a wound in her head.

Brutal: The 26-year-old was dragged for more than a mile by the chimps at the Goodall Institute Chimp Eden (pictured)

Critical: Andrew Oberle (left) is fighting for his life following the vicious attack in which he was dragged by the chimps for more than one mile

Recovery: Six months in, Ms Nash showed off her face transplant surgery. Surgeons spent 20 hours re-building her features

Haunting image: Ms Nash is seen posing with the chimp a year before the attack

source: dailymail