Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Funky Like a Monkey: Chimp Goes Ape, Escapes Owner, and Goes Bananas Today on the Streets of Kansas City! You Can Legally Own Those Things, BTW?

This is no monkey business: As reported in today's Kansas City Star online (link at bottom), a female chimpanzee named Sueko "got loose from her chains" today (the owner keeps it chained up?) and wreaked havoc in and around the 7700 block of Indiana Avenue in KCMO. The beast (apparently having a bit of a criminal streak to her) wandered about the neighborhood trying to break into cars and homes.

Then, when the cops showed up, Sueko must have really gone Bedtime For Bonzo because she bashed in a cop car window with her bare hands (or do chimps technically have paws? Hoofs?). (No word if the cop car belonged to Sheriff Lobo, BTW).

KC cops say they were ready to go Rambo on the monkey's ass if she tried to approach any people, as KC's Finest reportedly brandished AR-15 assault rifles to "put the animal down" if need be. Lucky for Sueko, she didn't approach any people, which gave the dog catcher folks time to arrive and shoot the chimp with a tranquilizer dart.

But nothing doin' on that front! Unphased, the monkey shinnied her way up a tree. By that time, her owner had arrived with a giant cage in the back of his truck. The animal finally came down out the tree and scurried into said cage, unharmed. It takes more than one tranquilizer shot to bring down ol' Sueko, the owner crowed. But I wonder: How's Sueko against assault rifles? Idiot.

Which leads me to a question raised at the top. I had thought that it was illegal in this day and age to own any of the "great apes" (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) as pets -- the old TV show B.J. & The Bear (pictured above) notwithstanding? But apparently not, as the Star's story indicates that owning Sueko would have been legal if not for a damn pesky local ordinance that makes it illegal to have "a dangerous animal within city limits." And make no mistake: Chimps -- which are much, much stronger than humans -- can be a very dangerous wild animal.

As a result, Sueko's owner got slapped with a citation (the second time for this owner), and Sueko's for now been transported to an "exotic animal" shelter elsewhere in Jackson County until a "permanent solution" can be determined. Here's hoping that the "solution" ultimately found involves Sueko going to a zoo where she belongs.

One funny part of this story was listening to a local radio station's traffic reporter over the noon hour. It went something like this: "That lane closure on southbound I-35 has you backed up all the way to the Cambridge Circle, and we also have reports of a car fire on northbound I-29 near the airport, which is slowing down traffic. Also reports of a monkey, a primate of some sort, leaping all over parked vehicles on the 7700 block of Indiana in KCMO. You should probably avoid that block until police get things under control..."