Andrew Oberle. (Courtesy: oberlewebgisproject.zxq.net)
By Art Holliday
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - "Andrew was more than a friend," said Anthony Reimherr, "he was a brother."
Friends of Andrew Oberle are attempting to raise money as Oberle recovers from a vicious chimpanzee attack that has left him in an induced coma.
Oberle remains in intensive care at a South African hospital with a broken arm, torn ligaments and he's lost some fingers and toes. Oberle was talking to a tour group at the Jane Goodall Institute when two chimps pulled him under a security fence.
In a Skype interview with NewsChannel 5's Art Holliday, Anthony Reimherr described his friendship with Andrew Oberle.
"Me and Andrew had gone to college together, we were fraternity brothers," said Reimherr. "I'd known him for the last seven or eight years and we've been really close friends since our first days at the fraternity. The last three years he's been living with me and my wife and we've become very very close over the last few years."
Reimherr says Oberle was passionate about working with chimpanze's and knew the risks.
"When you work at zoos your whole life and you study chimpanzes, you know the risks involved.
"Andrew was a very smart man who knew what he was doing. I think as strong as he is, and he's the strongest guy I know, he's going to turn this tragedy into an opportunity to continue what he's doing, to try to teach other people about animals 7:25 and I think he's going to inspire thousands if not millions of people when he does get through this."
Anthony Reimherr and his wife Marissa are raising money to assist the Oberle family.
"We're just trying to help him out and help his family out with all the travel and medical expenses that are going to be coming up so we're just trying to help in any way we can," Reimherr said.
If you'd like to contribute, visit www.facebook.com/HelpAndrewOberle.