Chimp owner ordered to move chimps away from residential neighborhood
Four chimps living at a home in Southwest Las Vegas are no longer welcome in the neighborhood. On Wednesday, County Commissioners told the chimp owner, Mike Casey, he needs to move his animals off the property.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Four chimps living at a home in Southwest Las Vegas are no longer welcome in the neighborhood.
On Wednesday, Clark County commissioners told the chimp owner, Mike Casey, he needs to move his animals off the property.
"I personally do not have children, these guys are my family and I love them very much," Casey told the board.
Casey asked commissioners for a special use permit to keep the chimps on the property until the end of next year when he plans to secure a property away from residential neighborhoods.
"Safety is our number one concern for the neighbors as well as the chimpanzees," Casey said.
But animal rights advocates worried if the chimps got out, the animals could harm residents.
People should be able to walk their dogs, children should be able to play and people enjoy their yards without worrying if a chimp will be on the lose," animal activist, Linda Faso, said.
Casey has lived at the property for two years without any known chimp escapes. Still, animal control and other agencies asked commissioners to deny the permit for the property once zoned for tigers.
I don't personally believe that it's any longer compatible with the neighborhood for any kind of exotic," Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said. "Not chimpanzees, monkeys, tigers or lions or bears are far as that's concerned."
After listening to testimony on both sides from more than a dozen people including Casey's ex-fiance and PETA, Commissioners denied the permit citing the chimps are too close to neighbors and a new residential development.
"This is a travesty that this man may have to leave the state of Nevada where he's done some really great things for some young people interacting with animals," Casey's neighbor, Lu Ann Day said. "I think ignorance really played a part today."
Casey said he doesn't know where he will go next.
"I won't give these animals up these are my family," Casey said.
Casey has 30 days to remove the chimps from the property that's in Commissioner Steve Sisolak's district.
Casey said he wants to stay in Clark County, but there are no properties currently zoned for chimps.
Commissioner Tom Collins invited Casey to come to his district where he said there is a zoo and people who understand exotic animals.