Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rampaging Chimp to go to Kansas City Zoo

If you haven't heard, Sue, the pet chimpanzee, went on a rampage in a South Kansas City neighborhood on Tuesday. Sue freed herself from her owner's truck, made obscene gestures at pedestrians, and damaged a police cruiser before being shot with a tranquilizer gun by Kansas City Animal Control. Her owner, Mark Archigo has had run ins with the law over his chimp for years. The city had confiscated the animal first in 1995 - at that time the zoo had made progress in assimilating Sue into the chimp population. Also, after another incident where Sue picked up a girl by the ankles and tossed her, the animal was supposed to be turned over, but never was. The seriousness of the situation has been highlighted by the horrific attack on a Connecticut woman in February of 2009.

Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said the assimilation process could take months of even years. Sue would have to learn to be a chimpanzee again. Eat chimp food like a chimp, not off a plate - she must also get used to being around other chimps and the social structure that comes with it. A city spokesman said the only other alternative was to euthanize the animal. The city is on strong legal footing this time around since there is a history of problems with the animal.

Sue could go to the Zoo as early as today to begin her long journey back to being a chimp. She could live up to another 30 years in captivity. Hopefully her assimilation process goes smoothly, but she certainly can have a better life with other chimps rather than caged in a truck. By the way, Kansas City residents can visit the Zoo for free through the month of November!

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