Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hey kid, do you wanna kiss my chimp?

We know chimpanzees are magnificent animals, with wonderful personalities and full of affection. We’ve also seen their power, as they’ve ripped hands, feet, testicles, noses, even entire faces off of people -- including people who have shared times of affection with the chimps who attacked them.
Buddy and CJ, the chimpanzees who escaped from their cages in Las Vegas, were housed in the neighborhood of Kay Carl Elementary School and Lied Middle School. Children were in the neighborhood, so it’s hard to blame the officer who shot and killed Buddy. Protecting children is an adult’s first thought.
At least, most of civilized society thinks it should be.
Take a look at the photos at the end of this post. It seems that this Las Vegas chimp owner knows the power of his juvenile chimp*, because he keeps hold of a leash that appears to be attached to a belt loop on the chimp’s jeans. (Granted, a belt loop isn’t at all secure, so maybe the owner is ignorant about chimpanzee strength.) He also seems to think that it’s okay to take tremendous risks, letting kids nuzzle with a chimpanzee who is strong enough, and unpredictable enough, to bite a chunk off their faces.
Okay, we can all agree that the chimp owner is a schmuck, willing to risk the safety of children who aren’t his own. One has to wonder, though, about the parents who were accompanying their kids during this little outing. And we have to wonder, again, about the lack of laws to protect communities from exotic pet owners (and parents) who evidently think this is fun.

Maybe this is the most important question: Do Vegas authorities know where this chimp is now?
*I’ve been told that this chimpanzee is Joey Austin. (If anyone knows this is not Joey, please contact me immediately at, so I can correct this post.) Joey is Buddy’s brother. Buddy was gunned down by law enforcement on July 12, after he and female chimpanzee CJ escaped from their cage.

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