The Post and Courier’s project, “Monkeys and Blood,” took a hard look at how the S.C. Department of Natural Resources ended up in an ethical swamp over its regulation of horseshoe crabs. Written and reported by Tony Bartelme and Shamira McCray, the story showed how a private company paid DNR millions of dollars to lease an island
in the ACE Basin for a monkey-breeding colony, and how DNR used that money to pay the salaries of staffers who regulated the company’s other lucrative business — the bleeding of horseshoe crabs.
The story had immediate impacts. The head of DNR acknowledged the conflict of interest, and the agency later denied the company’s special request to collect horseshoe crabs in the ACE Basin. After the story ran, the federal government also denied the company’s request to collect crabs in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.