Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47 Posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1802 times:
This is mainly a story local to the area I live in (although most living in LA have probably heard this story), but I'll present it to you and solicit your feedback.
Anyway, here's the background:
A family in the city of West Covina kept a chimpanzee (named Moe) as a pet for some 30 years. Then one day, the chimp allegedly bit off part of a womans finger.
(I have no idea how this woman or any of the other 'victims' got to Moe in the first place. He was supposedly kept in the back yard of a private house.)
After this biting incident, the city confiscated Moe and had him taken to an animal ranch in the San Fernando Valley. The city maintained that Moe is a dangerous animal (a full grown 35 year old 300 pound chimp), who has had two prior biting incidents requiring medical attention for the victims, and is not an "approved" animal for keeping within city limits.
The city refuses to relinquish Moe back to his owners.
Moes owners argue that the only reason this womans finger was bitten off was because she was teasing Moe by sticking her finger in his cage. They maintain that if the woman had not been taunting Moe, that she never would've been bitten. They also argue that Moe was a peaceful pet that they kept in the same home for over 30 years, and it is unfair for the city to take action now.
They have signs all over the front of their house demanding that Moe be returned home.
So what are your thoughts?
Is Moe an inappropriate animal that is potentially hazardous, and best belongs in a zoo, or did the city of West Covina overstep its bounds?
Should or shouldn't Moe be allowed to return home?
By the way, Moe has been incarcerated for some 3 years now.
AS737900 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1448 times:
Moe should be returned to his family! What the city of West Covina has done is taken a family member away for acting out in self-defense. Besides, it sounds like the bite victim got what she deserved.
After Moe is returned, the city needs to look at their enforcement policies for inappropriate animals and crack down on any new inappropriate "family members". Moe has been with the family for 30 years, it is cruel to take him away from probably the only family he has ever known.
SEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 726 times:
Chimpanzees are not domesticated. They are wild, mean and unpredictable creatures. People have this idea that chimps are playful and human-like. They get these notions from television and cartoons, no doubt. But did you know that even though they are indeed highly intelligent, they are actually one of the most violent, predatory primates out there? (Gorillas are actually *less* aggressive and more docile than chimps.) Also, chimpanzees regularly seek and hunt down young chimps in violent gangs, regularly fighting over the the flesh of some other chimp they just beat to death. They are one of nature's fewest creatures that kill for no other reason other than sport.
*Information courtesy of this place down the street from my apartment building known as The Bronx Zoo.
L'EspaceA340 From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 80 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 705 times:
It is true that chimps are not domesticated. They belong in the wild, and not in someone's backyard. This family should have never gotten Moe, to start with. But now, after 30 years, I guess there's not much reason in trying to return him to the wild. If he had been younger, he could have been sent to a reserve. or wildlife facitlity that could have helped him be reintroduced into the wild.
Since it is probably too late to do that, I guess Moe should return "home", if it can be guaranteed that he will not be able to harm anyone outside of that household. If he attacks the owners, that's their problem for getting into this mess to start with.
As for chimps killing for "sport", those are things that chimps learn as they grow in the wild. I don't think this is the case with Moe, so it is very unlikely that he would hold to the same lifestyle as his wild brothers and sisters, if he had never known of that way of life.