Police: Chimpanzees posed serious danger in Las Vegas neighborhood
One chimpanzee is dead and another is back in captivity after the animals escaped in a Las Vegas neighborhood on Thursday morning.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Police say residents in a northwest Las Vegas neighborhood were in considerable danger when two chimpanzees escaped from captivity on Thursday morning.
Authorities got the call just after 10 a.m. that two chimpanzees were loose in a northwest neighborhood. The 911 call described the chimpanzees as dangerous and extremely agitated.
Residents in the area of North Jones Boulevard and West Ann Road, as well as motorists passing through, were warned to remain inside their homes and vehicles as authorities frantically tried to hunt down the rogue animals.
The chimpanzees jumped over walls into peoples' backyards before police tried to corral them back to their own home. When the male chimpanzee darted across Ann Road, a police officer pulled out his gun and fired at the animal as one of his owners watched.
"The owner was screaming, 'don't shoot him, he's down,'" one witness said.
Neighbors say the chimp's name was Buddy.
The female chimpanzee was shot with a tranquilizer by animal control officers. Her name is C.J., neighbors said. She was returned to her owners.
Both chimpanzees are over 5 feet tall and weigh about 200 pounds.
Authorities say the chimpanzees escaped from their habitat in the 5700 block of Rowland Avenue and started roaming the area of Ann and Jones.
"It's crazy, I don't know why they would shoot," David Plunkett, a friend of the chimpanzees' owners said. "They didn't have to shoot the chimp. It wasn't harming anybody. It came out into the street, so they shot it."
A spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metro Police Dept. said the officer who shot Buddy said he felt the chimpanzee needed to be stopped before he crossed Ann Road into a neighborhood filled with a crowd gathered to see what was going on.
"I'm pretty upset, but it is what it is," Plunkett said. "I understand keeping the neighborhood safe."
A spokesperson for Clark County said the couple who owns the chimps had all of the proper permits for keeping exotic animals, but that there will be an investigation into this mishap.
Authorities continue to search for answers as to how the chimps were able to escape.