Friends of a UTSA graduate student who was mauled by chimpanzees in South Africa hold a fundraiser to help pay for his medical expenses.
Andy Oberle was studying at the Jane Goodall Institute this summer, where chimps are taken after suffering abuse from humans.
Officials reported that Oberle, 26, was working as a park ranger there and was giving a lecture when two chimps pulled him into their enclosure and attacked him.
On Saturday, friends of Oberle held a fundraiser to help him and his family pay the medical expenses.
"Andy is a type of person that never gives up," said Anthony Reimherr, a close friend and former roommate. "He's always positive. He's always happy. He's a type of person that comes from something like this and makes it all for the better."
Reimherr said they were going to get together over the weekend to celebrate his wife finishing her masters and him finishing his CPA certification, but after hearing that Oberle was severely wounded, the celebration quickly turned into a fundraiser.
"The people that were going to be here, all of them know Andy," said Reimherr. "All of them care about Andy. So, now we just saw this as a great opportunity to bring people together."
Although Andy suffered several severe bite wounds and is said to have lost most of his toes, fingers and his left arm, his friends said they know he will not quit.
"He is genuinely the strongest person I ever met in my life," said Theresa Maxey. "People will say that after something bad happens to somebody, but we said that before anything bad happened to him. He truly is a fighter. We know that if anybody can do it, he can."
On Saturday, a conservationist who runs the sanctuary said investigators will have to wait until Oberle is well enough to provide details before determining what prompted the attack.
Carl Oberle, Andy Oberle's uncle, said his parents plan on visiting their injured son.