Haddix


The deceptively-named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has ripped a sick and elderly chimp away from his loving caretaker who had faked his death to protect him from them.

A US Marshal who was at the house said that the organization will “probably euthanize him.”

The chimp was at the home of Tonia Haddix, his caretaker who lost custody of him and six others after a lengthy court-battle with the organization.

Tonka, the chimp who starred in the movie Buddy, cried out in fear for nearly an hour during the seizure as the organization’s so-called “expert” did not appear to know how to properly tranquilize him. He could be heard thrashing around his cage in a panic after the organization, and the court marshals protecting them, ordered Haddix out of the room.

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Last year, PETA was granted the right to take Tonka and six other chimps from Haddix after alleging that their previous owner, years before, had exploited them. They also claimed that they were “warehoused” in a “decrepit facility” and referred to it as a “hell hole.”

This was their enclosure:

The organization had claimed that some of the chimpanzees did not have access to the massive outdoor enclosure, but when The Gateway Pundit visited the Festus facility, we determined that was no longer the case under Haddix’ care.

PETA was so unconcerned with her caregiving that they had originally agreed to let her keep three of the chimpanzees. However, she had to promise to build a new enclosure — which she agreed to do. Unfortunately, thanks to COVID and supply shortages, building materials became scarce and the team she hired could not get it done by PETA’s arbitrary date, so they decided to take all of them.

On July 28, the day PETA arrived to collect them, Tonka was not there. 

Haddix claimed that he had passed away a month before. She had lied to protect him and snuck him out of the facility and into a hotel room a couple of miles away.

A veterinarian who had been treating Tonka for years signed an affidavit last July saying that Tonka had suffered a stroke, had a severe heart condition, and that euthanasia should be considered. Haddix did not want to give up and insisted they try any treatment possible.

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Her fear was that as an elderly and ill human-raised chimp, he would end up like so many others that are beaten to death by other chimps when placed in a large group at a sanctuary. One only needs to glance at PETA’s kill rate to understand that life is often not the Disney movie that the grifting organization attempts to sell people about their “rescued” animals.

As further evidence of her selfless motive, Haddix could have taken one of the young female chimps and had decades to spend with them. She didn’t. She hid the one that was practically on hospice care.

Her goal, she maintains, was to let him live out his life comfortably with the person that he knows and loves.

It appears her mistake was trusting a documentary film crew to document her PETA battle, after they had claimed to be on her side.

PETA did not fall for the claims that Tonka faked his own death and issued a $10,000 reward for someone to snitch after the judge in the case declined to hold Haddix in contempt. Their efforts did not pan out, so actor Alan Cumming, who starred with Tonka in the film Buddy a quarter of a century ago, but never attempted to see him again, issued an additional $10,000 reward to find his “friend.”

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Eventually, “documentary filmmaker” Dwayne Cunningham, or a member of his crew, recorded a call with Haddix in which she admitted that she had Tonka and that her vet was concerned and wanted to discuss euthanasia again. Haddix maintains she was not going to do it, but was trying to get opinions on the matter.

They recorded the call and gave it to PETA.

Though Cunningham has denied it, Rolling Stone obtained a copy of the call transcript. It undeniably came from the documentary crew.

It remains unclear if this was a set up, orchestrated all along, if they did it to “protect” the chimp, or if they just wanted to make their documentary more exciting by manufacturing conflict. There are many questions about their ethics to be asked, but Cunningham has not returned calls from this reporter.

After hearing the audio, the judge issued a sealed emergency order sending marshals to Haddix’ home — where they spent three days until PETA arrived to take him. The order said that she was not allowed to tell anyone when the seizure would be taking place, film inside her own home, or interfere in any way. You can read the order here.

On Sunday, PETA’s lawyer Jared Goodman arrived, 20 minutes late, with a “primate expert,” veterinarians and representatives from the organization including Brittany Peet, their “Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement.” They came with additional marshals to protect them, presumably from the 5’1″ and 100lb Haddix. They arrived in a lengthy and dramatic motorcade of vehicles.

For nearly an hour Haddix had to listen as Tonka panicked and cried out, thrashing around in the holding enclosure, which PETA had misleadingly used in their press releases to claim he was living in a small cage.

Their expert did not appear to know how to tranquilize a chimpanzee, something that should have only taken minutes.

Once they managed to get it done, they hooked Tonka up to an array of monitors and examined him on a stretcher outside with flies swarming around — as Haddix looked out from a window, heartbroken.

Her vet had warned that due to his condition, being tranquilized in this way might mean that he won’t wake up. She watched on as they poked and prodded him with needles and monitored his heart.

Just before noon, they loaded him up in their transport vehicle. He will wake up without the comfort of the woman who has been raising him, in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by unfamiliar people and animals.

“They are taking my boy,” Haddix said. Primates bond hard with humans. It will likely be as painful for Tonka as it is for her. She considers him a child.

Haddix said that she had to leave the property because she could not handle seeing what they were doing to him.

PETA will now be seeking to have Haddix jailed for contempt and violating the order.

Since PETA is not only trying this case in a physical courtroom, but in the court of public opinion as well — let me be a character witness for her defense.

This reporter personally knows Haddix and would move a mountain for her. She is kind, funny, warm, and loyal… to her friends that are both non-human primates and human primates. What is being done to her is unwarranted, unfair, and sickening.

Haddix is scheduled to appear before the judge on June 15.

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