Last week in Las Vegas, Clark County held a hearing about whether Mike Casey should be granted a permit to continue to house his exotic animals in an RV in his backyard. Casey is the person responsible for breeding and selling Travis, the chimpanzee who mauled Charla Nash in Connecticut in 2009.
Chimpanzees, as we know, should be with their mothers when they are young. Though no chimpanzee should have to live in captivity, since they can’t be returned to the wild they should live in a sanctuary where their social, psychological, and physical needs can be met. And, of course, no chimpanzee should ever be forced to perform. Casey has bred chimpanzees like Travis who have become pets or used by the entertainment industry.
Casey has a record of abuse. He has reportedly beaten his chimps with his fists, thrown hot water on them, and hit them with a rod.
Chimpanzees are wild animals, and they can and will bite. It is within their nature to be violently aggressive, even toward their closest friends. As we know in the case of Travis, humans are simply not built to take the aggression that chimps can inflict on others. Housing chimpanzees so close to human homes is dangerous.
Despite these issues, Casey made his case to the Enterprise Town Advisory Board, and the permit request is moving forward to the County Commission on November 21st. Act now and suggest that the county deny his request. Ask that the chimpanzees be sent to a reputable sanctuary where they belong. You can use the sample letter below or write one of your own. Send it to County Commission District G at [email protected] and encourage your friends to write, also!
Sample letter to Clark County Commissioners:
I am greatly concerned about James “Mike” Casey’s permit application to house chimpanzees on his property. This is a danger to the nearby residents. Chimpanzees have been known to escape and attack humans, causing severe injuries. One infamous case is of Travis, one of the chimpanzees Casey bred, who was shot after he attacked his neighbor and nearly ripped her face off.
In addition to public safety concerns, the welfare of these individual chimpanzees is also at stake. Casey has a history of animal abuse. The chimpanzees are housed in small, reportedly unsanitary conditions. They should be where their physical, psychological, and social needs can be met. A reputable sanctuary would dedicate resources to ensuring quality lifetime care for these chimpanzees. It is what they deserve.
I hope the Commission will choose to make the compassionate and safe decision to deny the permit to keep these chimpanzees in a residential neighborhood. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
**If you send an email, please don’t forget to BCC [email protected] for tracking purposes**