Chimp's second escape calls for law changes - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Chimp's second escape calls for law changes

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Cage from where CJ escaped (Doug Johnson/FOX5) Cage from where CJ escaped (Doug Johnson/FOX5)

It has been one day since a chimpanzee escaped its enclosure for a second time, and many are calling for a change to Nevada's exotic animal laws.

Some say the chimp's repeated escapes are a perfect example of why these animals should not be living here at all. That chimp, named CJ, has stirred up quite the debate with lawmakers in Carson City and advocates here in Las Vegas since her first escape. Some are calling for an all out ban on all exotic animals here in Nevada.

Obvious damage can be seen on the cage after CJ, the chimp, managed to break out for a second time on Saturday afternoon.

While her caretakers are trying to figure out how she escaped again, others want to get rid of exotic pets like CJ altogether by changing Nevada law.

"The Humane Society of the United States is working closely with Senator Michael Robertson to introduce a bill that would ban the private possession of these dangerous wild animals," said Holly Haley, the Nevada State Director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Chimps are not the only issue this bill would address. Currently, Nevada is one of just six states that do not have exotic animal regulations. That means anyone can keep whatever pets they want.

"A lot of people have moved here from other states simply because we don't have an exotic ordinance, and we have a lot of land here so they can just hide out where ever," said Linda Faso, an animal rights activist.

The county is also trying to resolve the problem locally, but Commissioner Sisolak said some strip performers should be allowed to keep these types of animals. "They need to have some input and like I said, a lot of them have been a model in terms of how to deal and how to care for and train these animals," Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said.

One is currently helping CJ. Faso said she has been taken to the home of former strip magician Dirk Arthur.

But Faso said that is only because the city has nowhere else to take her.

"Even over where she is now, that's a tiger cage. I don't know how strong the cages are," Faso said. "What do you do with her? There is no place for her."

CJ is going to Chimps Inc., a sanctuary in Oregon.

According to Chimps Inc., CJ will have to have a physical exam and a tuberculosis test before she is transported. The fact that she was just tranquilized might delay that process.

While CJ will be moving soon, Faso knows of at least four other chimps in the valley who are not going anywhere.

North and South Carolina, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Nevada are the only states in the country that do not have exotic animal regulations.

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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