Better news for C.J. the chimpanzee who broke out of her Las Vegas home for the second time and was taken to the zoo. She’s on her way to a sanctuary in Oregon, Chimps, Inc., which offers lifetime care to captive chimpanzees.
Timmi deRosa, C.J.’s owner/caregiver, and her fiancé, poker professional Lee Watkinson, describe themselves as naive animal rescuers who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to make CJ and her male companion, Buddy, comfortable.
DeRosa said she learned the hard way that cute young chimps can turn vicious when they become adults.
(One call to any expert could have saved them the time and trouble of having to discover this for themselves. And C.J.’s buddy, Buddy, who was shot when the two escaped previously, might still be alive today.)
“They’re cute when they’re babies,” DeRosa told local media. “Breeders say they won’t be aggressive. Then they grow up and what you get at the end of the day is Hannibal Lecter.”
Chimps, Inc. president, Lesley Day, says of C.J. (whose initials stand for Calamity Jane):
CJ is an unfortunate product of the wild animal pet trade. Most private owners acquire chimpanzees when they are very young. These infant chimpanzees are removed from their mothers soon after birth, sometimes only a few days later, to make them more human dependent. In the wild, a chimpanzee would not leave its mother for the first two years and they would stay with the family group for at least eight. This mother infant separation causes psychological trauma that affects the chimpanzee for the rest of his or her life.
Chimpanzees grow to be strong and intelligent and most often are forced to live in impoverished environments, being cared for at facilities that lack thorough safety protocols and is a recipe for disaster. Chimpanzees are very dangerous and in captivity can display behaviors that are dangerous to humans and when they are living in homes and close to the public, there is a great risk for injury. While sanctuaries are exposed to the same risks, accredited facilities are required to comply and maintain strict safety regulations and provide extensive training of on-site staff and volunteers.
Thanks to the generous support of our supporters, the Chimps Inc. sanctuary provides lifetime care, free from human exploitation and abuse to seven chimpanzees and two lynx. Each of the chimps cared for have been rescued either from the entertainment industry, private ownership, or roadside zoos. All of them have come from substandard living conditions and have lived through situations no sentient being should have to endure.
C.J. will join 11 other chimpanzees at Chimps, Inc. They include Topo, who spent much of his early life in roadside cage exhibits; Herbie, who came from a backyard with a chicken wire fence; and Maggie, Thiele and Patti who had been performing tricks at Marine World Africa (California) until they became dangerous adults.