February 23rd, 2009
01:48 PM ET
9 years ago

No more monkey business

A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.

A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A week after a woman was brutally attacked by a friend’s chimpanzee, a House committee moved to prohibit humans from keeping primates as pets.

Rep. Nick Rahall, chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, requested action Monday on legislation to prohibit people from buying or transporting primates across state lines as pets. The West Virginia Democrat warned that primates are too dangerous to be kept as pets.

“Images of Curious George and Koko may lead us to believe that these creatures are cuddly and harmless, but last week’s tragedy and other similar attacks stand as evidence that this is not the case, that they are in fact wild animals, and they simply must not be kept as pets,” Rahall said in a statement.

The Captive Primate Safety act would modify the Lacy Act amendments, which were passed in 1981 and only included a ban on buying or transporting fish and wildlife across state lines to keep as pets, by adding primates to that list. The legislation is expected to go to the House floor for debate this afternoon.

Roughly a dozen Americans were attacked by primates in 2008, according to the Humane Society.

soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Being as CNN.com always closes the comments section for articles about Sarah Palin or John McCain before their supporters can post in any numbers, I'll comment here and see if CNN.com will allow it through.
    Sarah Palin hit the nail right on the head when she said the media was out to destroy her candidacy. All one has to do is look at the love affair the media had with Obama and the extreme hatred the media has for Palin. Even in the comments section of articles posted here, people who have never met Sarah Palin, people to whom Sarah Palin has done absolutely nothing, post comments of hatred and disgust. The only information they have on Sarah Palin is that which they hear on the news, or read in the paper or on line. The media has twisted the truth, manipulated the facts, and sought to destroy her on so many levels, the American people hate her and they don't even know why. If I am wrong, and I realize that most Democrats will say that I am, I ask you this: Can you think of one news article that appeared on CNN or CNN.com that was positive about Sarah Palin's candidacy? Can you think of one negative story on CNN or CNN.com, that went after Barack Obama with the same aggression as when they went after Sarah Palin? It would appear to me that most Democrats hate Sarah Palin because CNN hates Sarah Palin and for no other reason!

    February 23, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. Scott

    How come we have this proposal after one incident? Has anyone proposed that we outlaw pit bulls? I believe they have done a lot more damage...even deaths.

    February 23, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Texas Proud!

    TO: BUCKWHEAT19--Thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

    Psst--there was nothing racist regarding that cartoon.

    February 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Dexter in Houston TX

    I'll take the monkey article over Sarah Palin any day...she just won't go away!

    February 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Mark

    Here's what I do not yet fully understand. The previous article about Palin gets hundreds of responses (all filtered by the moderators to include only comments by left wing nutjobs BTW), within 20 minutes of the story being posted, to the point where they can no longer add any more comments, yet this far more interesting story gets only a fraction of the umber of responses in a much longer time period. How does it work – CNN notifies all of the Kool-Aid drinkers when a story goes up, and, not unlike starry-eyed lemmings, they rush to leave ignorant, anti-American comments? The part I do not fully understand is that CNN is no longer making an even feeble attempt to pretend they are an objective news agency. Even Fox will allow the organic posting of opposing view. I know, I know, I will not see this posted, but rather the 'your comment is awaiting moderation' limbo message. Just had to vent – I know at least the censoring moderator will see this post (unless of course I can catch her at lunch...).

    February 23, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    They were born free--but man intervene--I would close all of the zoos--–we should not have them at all in any restricted manner.

    February 23, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Former Army

    It doesn’t bother me if my neighbor has any wild animals of any kind, just as long as I (or others) have the right to shoot such animal if it gets out and poses a threat.

    February 23, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. ray

    maybe we send a few chimps in both houses of congress to take care aof the obstructionist on the right.

    February 23, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Dutch/Hampton Roads Virginia---–I agree--but what about the 200 lbs monies in Congress?

    February 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Havoc

    connect the dots-isn't Skull and Bones a Yale organization? Pres. Obama went to Harvard. Thanks for playing

    February 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    The diaper lobby is going to be irate about this.

    February 23, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Predictable

    Well it looks like Laura Bush is going to have to send George to captivity after all. Not to mention FAUX NOISE CHANNEL will have to send O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, & Rove to their native environments as well, where they will be free to hurl all the poo that they want at each other.

    February 23, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Reggie

    Those still calling the cartoon racist are showing your ignorance; the president did not write this or any other bill, (and in this case the president didn't even read the bill). Was government not a requirement to graduate at your high schools? Go study how American government works so you can see how bad you are embarrassing yourselves.

    February 23, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. liz

    It is NOT a monkey, chimps are APES. I know science is inconvenient, but sheesh, get it right!
    While they are regulating pets, PLEASE pass a national law mandating spay and neuter for all pets that are not specially licensed to breed.

    February 23, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. nom deplume, esq.

    Another step down the road to the Nanny State.

    No need to think, we'll do that for you.

    Now for a drink; the usual state-approved light beer will do, thank you.

    February 23, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Mike in Houston

    No Primates as Pets?

    What's the Senate going to do with Harry Reid?
    What's the House going to do with Nancy Pelosi?

    February 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    AndyL February 23rd, 2009 1:04 pm ET
    Danm, no more Democrats as pets!
    AndyL: Tell you mother that she'd better have my money, or I'll pimp the plumper out again.

    February 23, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. kevin

    Chimpanzees are NOT monkeys. They ARE apes. Pet peeve of mine.

    February 23, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Proud American

    Wow someone has finally found something for our lawmakers to do.

    February 23, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Careful or we'll all have to endure an ad campaign from the MRA..."Monkeys don't kill people..."

    February 23, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Careful or we'll all have to endure an ad campaign from the MRA…"Monkeys don't kill people…oh wait, yeah they do..."

    February 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Parnell Meagre

    Read Next of Kin by Fouts – it's a very informative book about chimps.

    February 23, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Eric

    Reactionary legislation, once again. They do realize this chimp was given DRUGS before going on his rampage, right?

    Of course they won't say anything else about all the other primates kept as pets or companions that don't harm anyone.

    Sensationalism always breeds over-reaching legislation.

    February 23, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. rich

    Its crazy the owner of this monkey had him up in her bed like he was some human. Some animals are just not meant to be pets no matter how cute they may appear. Living up in a house, sleeping in ones bed and God knows whatever else is not where monkies are supposed to be. And all of these exotic pet owners (snakes, lions, tigers, etc.) who are doing a similar thing are only creating hazaordous and potentially life treatning situations in their homes. I hate that it has to come to this that common sense cannot guide peoples behavior, but if a law will help, so be it.

    February 23, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Alex

    I agree with the legislation. It is foolish for anyone to own a greater ape. Those belong in the wild, an official rescue, or a zoo.

    Oh, and FYI to the unedumacated: humans are taxonomically primates. Look it up.

    February 23, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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