Holly Haley, The Humane Society of the United States' Nevada state director, issued the following statement in response to the escape of two chimpanzees in a northwest Las Vegas residential area, which resulted in the shooting death of one of the animals:
This incident tragically illustrates the urgent need for the Nevada state legislature to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals including chimpanzees and other primates. These animals are highly social with complex needs, and they pose a safety risk to local communities. Until the Nevada legislature and Congress take action, these unfortunate situations will continue to occur.
The HSUS is also calling on the U.S. Congress to pass The Captive Primate Safety Act, S. 1324 and H.R. 4306, to prohibit interstate commerce in monkeys, apes and other primates for the exotic pet trade.
The risk of keeping primates as pets has been illustrated time and time again, including the 2009 attack by a pet chimpanzee who inflicted catastrophic and disfiguring injuries on a Connecticut woman. It appears that no humans were harmed in this incident but, as is so often the case, one of the chimpanzees paid with his life.