By Erik Ortiz
From: New York Daily News
CJ the chimp is leaving Las Vegas — and this time it’s for good.
The astute adult chimpanzee bolted from her cage at a private residence in the city’s northwest Saturday, marking the second time in a month that she broke free.
But after her capture by police and animal control officers in this latest escape, CJ’s owners are having her released Tuesday to a wildlife sanctuary in Bend, Ore., according to reports.
“This (escape) looks like we’re complete idiots,” owner Timmi De Rosa told ABC affiliate KTNV in Las Vegas. “Like how the hell could the other chimp get out?”
This latest incident didn’t end as tragically as on July 12, when CJ — short for Calamity Jane — and an adult male chimp named Buddy ripped through the cage in their backyard enclosure.
A police officer fatally shot Buddy when he jumped onto cars and appeared to be terrorizing neighbors, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.
CJ was tranquilized and returned to her owners.
This second time, police said, they were more prepared and were able to sedate CJ again. Although she pulled out the tranquilizer dart, she walked to a vacant house with her handler and fell asleep, KTNV reported.
The ape was taken to the home of a local magician who owns a proper cage as a halfway house before she’s sent to Oregon, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
While De Rosa and fiance Lee Watkinson had ownership of CJ and Buddy for several years, the primate pair was being housed on someone else’s property.
Three metal bars of CJ’s cage were reportedly found bent, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether she did that herself. De Rosa believes someone intentionally set her free to make a point against ownership of exotic animals, according to local CBS affiliate KLAS.
A state senator is drafting a statewide ban on having exotic animals as pets.