Sep 2, 2022 - News

Des Moines' Ape Initiative vandalized twice in one week

A photo of an ape.
Photo: courtesy of the Ape Initiative

The Ape Initiative on Des Moines' southeast side was vandalized early Thursday morning — the second time in less than a week, Jared Taglialatela, the facility's director, told Axios.

What happened: A window to the nonprofit research facility's guard shack was shattered early Thursday morning.

Why it matters: The destruction is a threat to its work.

  • It's the only one in the world dedicated to the study of bonobos, an endangered species that is most closely related to humans.

Catch up fast: The initiative's staff reported an overnight burglary to police last Saturday.

  • The facility was damaged and a "considerable amount" of equipment was stolen but the animals were not injured, staff reported.
  • Police are investigating both cases and no arrests have been made Sgt. Paul Parizek told Axios.

Between the lines: A dead-end section of Southeast 45th Street that's near the facility has become a frequent hangout for party goers and initiative staffers believe it's part of the problem, Taglialatela said.

  • The initiative will ask the city to permanently close about a three-block section of the street where it meets with Evergreen Avenue, he said.
A photo of a dead end street.
A dead-end section of Southeast 45th Street that Ape Initiative officials want the city to close. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios
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