Monday, May 12, 2014
Secret Giant Monkey Breeding Company Owners Hiding?
LABELLE, FL. -- A primate breeding company hoping to build a facility for 3,200 monkeys in Hendry County, on the border of Lee County; is apparently being very careful to hide who owns and manages the company's land, which is called 'Oak Creek Hammock'.
The company, Soflo Ag; has mailing addresses listed, which turn out to be only Post Office Boxes at the UPS store in Lehigh Acres, FL.
It is believed the new captive monkey facility, will be used for breeding and quarantining Macaque monkeys imported from Mauritius, an island southeast of Africa, where the monkeys are bred. The offspring are separated from the mothers, and sold to export companies, in order to bypass regulations prohibiting the buying and selling of wild-caught monkeys.
After being sold, the young monkeys will end up in facilities like the ones in Hendry County. They will eventually be sold to universities and private biological research companies, who use young monkeys for experimental uses.
Aside from Humans, the Macaques are the most widespread Primate Genus.
Controversy has arisen in recent weeks after well-known TV personality, Jane Velez-Mitchell, broadcast a Cable TV show on HLN about the proposed Hendry County monkey breeding facility. The program questioned who has governmental authority to authorize breeding facilities for Primates; allowing them to be imported, sold, and used for animal experiments.
Last year, a company called Soflo Ag bought 34 acres of land just south of State Road 80 near Wheeler Road, and adjacent to Lee County. This property will be used to house monkeys, to be sold for experimentation to universities and private laboratories.
Hendry County already has a similar, but much larger primate facility. 'Primate Products' rests on 640 acres, a square mile of land north of Immokalee, and located on the Hendry and Collier County line.
A. Hopkins Kennemer, Jr. of Gulf Stream, FL in Palm Beach County, was the seller of the residential zoned land. He sold it for $65,000 in February, 2013. The land is now planned as 'Oak Creek Hammock'; and was reviewed by Hendry County Zoning Officials, and the County Commissioners.
The land is across a canal, and directly east from homes in Lehigh Acres. It is located in an isolated area just north of homes, and 2.5 acres residential lots in a Hendry County subdivision. There is limited fire and police protection in the Hendry County subdivision, because of limited access provided by two bridges over the canal between Hendry and Lee County.
In 2013, 'Oak Creek Hammock' received permission from the South Florida Water Management District, to pump 6.5 million gallons of water yearly; to provide drinking water for 3,200 monkeys, and irrigation for 3 acres of landscaping. (See SFWMD permission letter with photo of property)
Last month, 'Oak Creek Hammock' received an environmental resource permit from the South Florida Water Management District, to modify or build a storm water management system at the property. The 34-acre property has also reportedly been fenced in.
Three Monkey Companies Operating Out Of A UPS Store Mailbox
Attempting to find the actual land owners, has led to a dead end. Soflo Ag LLC, the company on the deed, is owned by P2B2 LLC; according to the State of Florida Secretary of State's Office. Both company addresses are listed as 5781 Lee Blvd. in Lehigh Acres. That address is a UPS store.
But, P2B2 LLC is owned by XII LLC. And that company's address, is also a mail box in the UPS store. At this point, the chain of ownership turns to either fraud, error, or something very unusual going on. In 2012, a 'Zubair Khan' is listed as a representative of XII LLC, in the company's annual filing with the Secretary of State Office.
The Secretary of State's Office said today, that there is no record of XII LLC. Soflo LLC's agent (for purposes of filing applications and getting government permits for development), is Rock Enterprises in LaBelle, FL.
Who Is Primera and 'Primera Management'?
Primera's response to the community residents' concerns, appeared in a local newspaper on May 1, 2014. A 'Primera statement' to the 'Hendry County Board of Commissioners and Residents'; disparaged press reports, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and animal protection organization statements, including the Humane Society of the United States.
The author of the lengthy letter stated: "The unbalanced and shock value style of reporting portrayed in the media by various animal rights extremists, reflects a prejudicial and biased image of Primera."
The letter was signed by 'Primera Management', with no name of any official attached. A search for Primera with the Florida Secretary of State Office, shows no information or registration for the name 'Primera'. A Google search also shows no information on Primera, as well.
Some investigations have speculated that 'PreLabs, Inc.' and 'PrimGen' of Hines, IL are behind the monkey breeding enterprise. An employee named 'Mohammad Khan' (same last name as Zubair Khan) registered the online domain names 'prelabs.com', 'primgen.com' and 'sofloag.com'.
Several species of Macaques are used extensively in animal testing; particularly in the 'neuroscience of visual perception' and the 'visual system' fields.
Nearly all (73%-100%) pet and captive Macaques, are carriers of the Herpes B virus. This virus is harmless to Macaques. Infections of Humans however, while rare, are potentially fatal; a risk that makes Macaques unsuitable as pets.
Previous Story (With Video) On Monkey Breeding Facilities In Hendry County
Story: Don Browne and Barbara Ann Cooper. Photo: courtesy Skamnelis and Wikipedia