A small group of protestors who turned out over concern about chimps living in a southwest Las Vegas neighborhood found themselves not welcome by those living nearby.
"You guys are just starting problems, just starting problems," said one neighbor
Mike Casey, who owns Great Ape Experience, has lived in the area for about two years. The protestors said they came out Friday in light of what happened earlier this year in North Las Vegas, when two adult chimpanzees escaped from their owners.
One one of those chimps was shot and killed by police. Casey said there is a big difference between his chimps and what happened in North Las Vegas.
"These are all small chimps," he said.
Linda Faso, who organized the protest, said she believes many of the people living in the neighborhood had no idea that there were chimps living around them. Casey said that's not the case and that he had sent out letters to neighbors when he first moved in.
Gilbert McCormack, who lives two doors down, said Casey's claim is true, and that he got the letter. He also said he's not too concerned about the chimps because the house where they lived was once home to two tigers and a lion.
"I have more concerns about somebody coming in off the streets than I do about the chimpanzees over there," McCormack said.
County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said the special permit for the home where the chimps now live has lapsed and that Casey has applied for a new one. The matter will be brought up in a county commission meeting next month.
Sisolak said Casey has other issues that he needs to address.
"My understanding is that he lives in a Caseta in the back of the house and there is not a business license here but he is operating a business in the house that needs to be addressed," Sisolak said.
Casey was the breeder of Travis, a 14-year-old chimp that attacked a woman in New York City in 2009 and tore the woman's face and hands off before the chimp was shot and killed.
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