Chimps briefly on the loose in Las Vegas, one killed

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2012 3:59 PM
Chimps briefly on the loose in Las Vegas, one killed

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A pair of chimpanzees were briefly on the loose in a Las Vegas neighborhood on Thursday before police trying to corral the potentially dangerous animals shot one chimp dead and authorities managed to tranquilize and capture the other.

Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell said officers rushed to the neighborhood, which has a mix of residences and businesses, after residents called in the morning to report seeing the chimps.

"They chased them around for a while trying to get them corralled. At one point one of our officers did discharge his firearm and one of the chimpanzees is dead. The second one has been captured with the aid of a tranquilizer gun," Cassell said.

He said police were investigating where the animals had come from and whether a private person may have been keeping them, noting that the chimps could not have come from a zoo or animal preserve in the desert city: "I can tell you there are no zoos in the area."

Cassell said that the incident was over within about 90 minutes of when police received the first call. He could not provide information about the condition of the surviving animal but said it would get medical care if needed.

(Reporting By Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Greg McCune and Cynthia Osterman)