When people think of wild things happening in Las Vegas, they normally picture The Strip with bright lights, drinking, show girls as a “walk on the wild side”. For people who call Las Vegas their home, they know the real wild things happen off the Strip and in their everyday neighborhoods.
On Thursday July 12, 2012 one northwest Las Vegas neighborhood had an event that was even out of the ordinary for Vegas. There were 2 chimps escape from their home. The chimps named CJ and Buddy have lived in Vegas with their owner Nikki Riddell for over 10 years. In fact a story was done about the chimps back then because some animal activist had complained when they saw them being displayed at a swap meet. You can see that story from 2002 by George Knapp – Some Animal Activists Going Ape Over Swap Meet Chimps.
Now, I have lived here for almost ten years and I don’t ever recall hearing anything about these chimps, so they must not have caused too much trouble before today. In fact Chimps R Us are current on all their permits and had passed all inspections.
This morning the 2 chimps somehow got out of their cage and went wandering through the neighborhood. People said the chimps were banging on cars and running loose. As I watched the events unfold on live cam from the 8NewsNow helicopter, I was surprised to see more police and animal control vehicles than ever. Then we saw one chimp lying in the center of the road. I was really hoping that they had tranquilized him, but that wasn’t the case. No, a police officer had shot and killed Buddy.
Let me just say that while I REALLY wish they could have tranquilized him, the officer may have had no choice but to stop him. Buddy was heading in the direction of neighbors who had gathered to watch the event. Yes, these people had their kids out at the street near where the police and chimps were. Hello people, wild animals loose and that many police cars and you bring yourself and kids outside to stand on the sidelines?
One of chimps handlers did try to get Buddy to follow him home, but the chimps was not going and that is when the police shot him. Even the handler understand that a 5′ 150+ pound chimp could be dangerous especially when agitated and around untrained people. A police officer that was interviewed reminded the public that ‘not long ago, a chimp removed a woman’s face’. I think we all agree that chimps can be dangerous and that is why I still wonder WTH were those people gathered out there thinking?
The 2nd chimp named CJ was saved as she was taken down with a tranquilizer and hauled off in an animal control truck. CJ is back at home with her owner. I’m not sure that animal control would have anywhere to house her. I feel sorry for CJ as she has lived with her companion Buddy for so long and chimps are very sensitive to loosing part of their family, I hope that she will not become too depressed before they can relocate her with other chimps.
Here is the update from Thursday night’s news –
8 News NOW