Archives for July 2008

Where is chimpanzee Moe?

Jungle Exotics an animal training facility in Devore, California is the home to Moe an African chimpanzee who is 42 years old–at least it was his home until Friday, June 27, 2008–when the chimp escaped.

As of July 3, 2008 the chimpanzee has not been located.

Although accounts say Moe the chimp was rescued in the 1960s, it was more likely that he was purchased for a pet.

Poachers often killed (and still kill) mother animals to obtain young primates for the pet trade.

Contrary to belief, primates do not make good pets.

Today, private ownership is illegal and violates the Endangered Species Act unless you meet certain provisions and are under permit.

The general public has a misconception that chimps are amiable animals from images found in movies and television commercials–captive chimpanzees are not like that image–in fact they are highly dangerous.

Jungle Exotics is a licensed facility and another company (Amazing Animal Productions) nearby faced charges on animal abuse (Animal Legal Defense Fund vs Yost) and was banned from working with chimpanzees as part of the settlement agreement back in 2005.

Despite the fact that Moe was confiscated from the Davises’ West Covina home after he mauled a police officer’s hand and bit off a woman’s fingertip in two 1998 incidents The UK Sun starts off incorrectly referring to the apes as “monkeys” and states,

Mr Davis’ spokesman Mike McCasland said: “He’s a very personable, sweet, nice chimp.”

but in the same story reports that Jungle Exotics

“…was Moe’s fourth home since authorities removed him from the Davises’ West Covina home after he mauled a police officer’s hand and bit off a woman’s fingertip in two 1998 incidents.”

The quotes come from am Associated Press Release which also appeared in the Los Angeles Times release which actually says,

“He’s a very personable, sweet, nice chimp,” McCasland said. “He’s not going to be aggressive unless he’s provoked.”

Just what will provoke the chimp?

That is hard to determine. Anything could but local animal control did not think Moe would be a imminent threat.

When first asked about this I suspected that Moe would turn up at someone’s home and according to this video he first showed up at the caretakers home and then turned up at a remodeling project scaring the workers.

Why authorities were not notified earlier is unknown.

Chimpanzees are omnivores and will eat meat but a coyote is more likely to have grabbed the neighbor’s chicken as reported in the video–I’d want to know what animal tracks were near the fence.

Helicopters have not flushed the chimp and he has not been sighted since he first escaped.

Due to the high numbers of rattlesnakes in the area–it does not look good.

As of today, Moe the chimpanzee has been missing for just under a week.

Sightings can be reported to Animal Care and Control at (800) 472-5609.

Read more on the incident:

Whittier Daily News

Los Angeles Times: Moe the chimp part one and Moe the chimp follow up report.

CBS 2 reports Moe the chimp is missing.

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin report on Moe the chimp.

Keeping Pets Safe & Sane July 4th

Fireworks and other staples of the Fourth of July can pose a threat to pets. Many pets cower, quiver, behave frantically or become destructive in response to noise trauma. Fireworks, garbage trucks, thunder storms and other problems need behavior modification. Pet owners can temporarily address these problems quickly with a few July 4th pet precautions.

It amazes me that people don’t actually know that they can reduce their pet’s anxiety or stress during the 4th of July weekend. I always hope that there will be motivation to change behaviors prior to the holiday–but no such luck.

Good Samaritans who find animals and take them to the shelters are a blessing to those who lose animals–but there are preparations you can take prior to the holiday to prevent stress and to keep animals safe.

I’ve known of animals that have defecated in fear throughout their homes, others that have bolted through windows or escaped, and heard of some escapees that ran to their death on the roadway.

All of these are preventable. Below are some tips but you can also find previous press releases on the topic for safe and sane pets during July 4th or July 4th pet safety tips. Feel free to reprint and share–just please include a back link.

The biggest mistake pet lovers need to avoid is comforting the pet, although done with good intentions, petting and coddling can actually reinforce the fear and panic.

Voice communication does not reinforce the fear like cuddling, petting, holding, and trying to physically relieve the stress does…use that as an option if you can’t refrain from trying to sooth your pet.

The age of your pet, socialization, experience, and breed can also influence their reactions. Animals with an established history of problems will likely worsen. Elderly animals may get better simply because they lose their hearing.

There are ways to work through noise phobia exhibited before earthquakes, during thunderstorms and throughout firework displays, but it takes time and preplanning. In the meantime use some quick tips and tools to address the problem behavior, which escalates annually during the Fourth of July holiday.

July 4th Pet Tips

  • Keep your animals inside during July 4th and for a few days to a week prior to the holiday.
  • Make sure you have a tag with current information on your pet during this time.
  • If you take your animal outside for toileting or any other activity, make sure they are under physical restraint via a collar and leash.
  • Leave your pets safely at home instead of taking them to picnics or other holiday events.
  • Play music or turn on a radio station with soothing music to help mask outside noises.
  • Buy a plug-in Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) dispenser. This permeates the air with a calming scent and reduces fear and anxiety.
  • Keep your pet busy with activities or chew items before the height of noise making occurs.
  • Visit your veterinary medical professional and ask for melatonin. This oral neurohormone often provides help for sensitive animals. Use with the veterinarians dosage recommendation and don’t try to do it yourself.
  • Flower remedies work on an energetic level. Five Flower® or Rescue Remedy® mixes may help reduce your pets anxiety.
  • Create a safe haven. If your animal is habituated to a crate you may want to provide confinement for security. Other options you may have available include the bathroom, laundry room, garage, basement, or any other “den” area. The room to choose is one where there are no windows to jump through, or where windows can be blocked off and that are too high and narrow to access.
  • Some animals want to hide and will feel safe in a favorite spot, like under the bed. You can create sleeping bag tunnel or similar option for them.
  • Plan a party and play at home instead of participating in other events. Making new traditions can be fun and helpful for your pet.
  • Consider boarding your pet at a professional kennel for the holiday.

Always check with your veterinarian or behavior specialist before using any drugs or tranquilizers on your pet.

Finally, be alert if you have guests at home–since an open door can provide an opportunity for animals to bolt outside.