Chimp Captured After Second Escape - 8 News NOW

Chimp Captured After Second Escape

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CJ escapes a second time. CJ escapes a second time.

LAS VEGAS -- A chimpanzee that escaped last month into a northwest Las Vegas neighborhood escaped again Saturday evening before she was tranquilized and safely captured.

CJ escaped her enclosure about 5 p.m. and was caught a short time later, according to Metro Police.

CJ was one of two chimps who escaped in July. The other chimp, Buddy, was killed by police for allegedly threatening homes and property nearby.

The Chimps' co-owner, Timmi Derosa, said she was on the verge of a panic attack Saturday after she got the call about CJ.

"I need to figure out what happened," Derosa said, sitting on the sidewalk, not far from the area where the chimp escaped. "This looks like we're complete idiots, like how ... could the other chimpanzee get out?"

Metro said CJ was extremely passive when officers found her, and did not appear angry or irate. Police officers quickly sedated CJ, but Metro said she removed the tranquilizer, and went into a nearby house. Officers then followed CJ, and were finally able to contain her once the tranquilizer set in.

The chimps handler, Miguel Gutierrez, said its possible CJ tampered with the lock outside her cage, but he's not sure. He also said he doesn't think CJ was depressed or sad, considering she had just lost her mate, Buddy.

Buddy's death focused attention on the plight of backyard chimps and other exotic animals.

Timmi Derosa said she thinks it is possible that someone may have intentionally let CJ out of her cage to try and make a point.

"We have gotten calls that people want to let CJ out to pass this law in Las Vegas and I just hope to God that nobody tampered with the cage," Derosa said.

Following Buddy's death, CJ's owners recently agreed to send her to a sanctuary in Oregon. They all said they agree that it is a bad idea to have exotic animals in backyard enclosures.

It's not clear whether CJ will still make it to the Oregon sanctuary, but her owners told 8 News NOW they still hope CJ will go there.

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