Published Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 11:46 a.m.
Updated Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 10:42 p.m.
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.