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May 6, 2015

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Chimp chase in NW valley ends with one chimp tranquilized, another dead


Steve Marcus

The body of a male chimpanzee lies on Ann Road near Jones Boulevard after being shot Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Updated Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 10:42 p.m.

Two chimps on the loose in northwest Las Vegas

KSNV reports that two chimpanzees on the loose in northwest Las Vegas created a chaotic scene, July 12.

Chimps on the Loose

The body of a male chimpanzee lies on Ann Road near Jones Boulevard after being shot Thursday, July 12, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Metro Police shot two chimpanzees that had escaped Thursday morning from their enclosure at a northwest Las Vegas home, killing one and tranquilizing the other.

Metro spokesman Officer Marcus Martin said the chimp that was killed was shot by an officer after it appeared the chimp was headed toward residents, including children, who had come outside to watch the chase.

A 911 call at 10:13 a.m. alerted officers to the escaped chimpanzees near Ann Road and Jones Boulevard. Live-streamed video of the ensuing chase showed multiple Metro Police and animal control units involved in the hunt for the chimps, each of which weighed upwards of 170 pounds.

The chimpanzees, one male and one female, had escaped from a residence on the 5700 block of Rowland Avenue, Martin said.

Neighbors said the chimpanzees appeared agitated and felt they were going to be attacked. One of the chimpanzees climbed on top of a woman’s car and tried to open her door. At one point, one of the chimps had climbed onto a police car and was banging on it, Martin said.

When one chimpanzee — the male — was about to enter a neighborhood area where neighbors and children were outside, it was shot and killed by one of the officers.

The other chimpanzee was continuing on Rowland Avenue, where it was tranquilized shortly before 11:45 a.m.

“When you see the size of these animals, we think reasonable people would understand (to stay away),” said Martin.

The owners of the chimpanzees, David and Sheri Potochan, had been approved by the county for keeping exotic animals, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said.

Martin said the female chimp had been returned to its owners.

Metro Police public information officer Bill Cassell said reinforcements were made to the chimp’s holding area before its return. He could not specify whether those adjustments were mandatory or a personal decision by the owner.

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  1. Good job Metro.

  2. this is just priceless. It's a chimp that can rip your face off. If they can safely tranquilize it they would...hence the chimp that was. If it posses an immediate threat to the children and their idiot parents who let them go outside and watch a lose animal that can tear their limbs off, then clearly metro has no choice but to shoot.

    It's not like the movies guys, animals dont drop 2 seconds after getting his with a dart. The blood preasure, temperature, estimated weight and where the dart hits play into how long it'll take for it to go down. It takes minutes not seconds and sometimes more than 1 shot. Clearly that wasn't an option.

    I'm not defending metro for every shooting they've ever had but as someone who knows a thing or two about tranquilizing animals I have to defend this one.

  3. The responsibility for the death of this animal lies solely with the owner. It's unfortunate the Metro officer that shot the animal was put in a position that left them with no other course of action.

    It's tragic an animal had to die, but this type of animal is capable of serious harm. Not too long ago, a woman literally had her face and hands ripped off by an out of control chimp.

    If it comes down to protecting the innocent, I back a trigger happy cop any day of the week.

  4. I fully agree with the comments made by tuasdad and Jfamily31 above. But there is a nagging thought in the back of my mind: How many members of Metro (i.e. Officer Yant) would make the distinction between a human and another species of primate?

  5. There surely wouldn't be as many negative responses towards Metro for something this if it weren't the amount of human beings they shot and kill.

  6. stopthebs..."Metro has had a lot of experience with chimps..."

    Come on. I realize Metro officers aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack, but to say the department has trained a bunch of chimps is a bit too harsh.

  7. SG1 is assuming that the officer knew he was shooting at a chimp as opposed to someone who didn't "belong" in the area.

    Setting Metro's history aside I have to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one and say they did the right thing all things considered. The only question I would seriously raise would be whether or not the officer cleared the background before firing.

    As for the person who allowed the animals to escape (or released them) ...

  8. A wild animal is a wild animal is a wild animal. You can't replace millenniums of instinct with a few years of captivity.

    The blame for the chimps death goes to the folks who had it in captivity and the fools who put themselves in danger by doing the looky loo outside of the safety of their homes and other buildings.

  9. While I am not going to get all worked up over the killing of an animal, I do question Metro's actions simply because I have read or watched on the news about three different accounts of what the chimp was actually doing when the officer shot him. Maybe the media is to blame in this case, but Metro has a proven history of altering the facts of a case to justify their actions.

    That being said, I would like to know how these wild animals were able to escape their residence and why the uninjured chimp was placed back into the custody of the irresponsible owners. I consider myself an animal lover, but after learning about the chimp who tore off a woman's face and hands resulting in her needing a face transplant, (she also lost her eyesight) I am terrified of these particular animals.

    So while I question Metro's version of events, I certainly am not upset that an officer
    shot and killed the chimp. Those animals, unlike most of the humans Metro shoots, pose an immediate danger to the public.

  10. Why are they allowed to keep "exotic" wild animals in the first place, there is no valid reason for it. It is cruel and dangerous to keep wild animals cooped up and there should be strict federal, state and local laws against it. When wild creatures are released by owners who can't handle them, they become a nuisance. Anybody who truly "loves" wild animals should leave them in their natural habitats. Contribute to reputable wildlife and environmental funds that protect wild animals and preserve their natural habitats - that would show true love.

  11. The Chimp made a furtive movement..Bang..No Monkeying around here..At the inquest all will be revealed..

  12. Yep, I'm sure that Metro overreacted. The chimpanzees couldn't possibly have posed any danger whatsoever to residents of the neighborhood.

    Enough said?

  13. On a positive, light hearted note, here is a video of good monkey times before this bad news from yesterday heh heh

  14. The owner is 100% responsible for this incident. Metro's actions are irrelevant because they happened after the fact. If you keep wild animals in your home that you're incapable of controlling, then you had better be prepared to deal with the consequences of your irresponsible actions. It's called common sense 101. Chimps that big either belong in the wild or an animal sanctuary.