Primate-on-Primate Assault
March 4, 2005 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Don't piss off the chimpanzees. Really. They'll chew your **lls and face off.
posted by digaman (67 comments total)

 
the monkeys chewed most of Davis' face off and that he would require extensive surgery in an attempt to reattach his nose.

Humanity, let's all agree to leave the monkeys and apes alone. There's no good reason to be importing evil homunculi into North America. We already have indiginous examples-- they're called "republicans."
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


Heard this on the news this morning. Damned scary and grisly. People have a tendency to forget that chimps are somewhere like 6 to 7 times as strong as a normal man.

What could possess a chimp to chew someone's face off is beyond me though.
posted by fenriq at 11:09 AM on March 4, 2005


Damn, Mayor Curley is ON A ROLL! That's two laugh out louds in the last five minutes!
posted by fenriq at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2005


The Davises were at the Animal Haven Ranch to celebrate the birthday of Moe, a 39-year-old chimpanzee who was taken from their suburban Los Angeles home in 1999 after biting off part of a woman's finger.

Sounds like someone may have had existing issues...
posted by freebird at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2005


The monkey was just stealing a peach.
posted by srboisvert at 11:13 AM on March 4, 2005


Perhaps the chimps are furious that even with one of their own kind serving as top banana in the White House, they're still stuck in those damn zoos.
posted by digaman at 11:15 AM on March 4, 2005


Strange, were Buddy and Ollie pissed at Moe's 'parents' for pampering him with cake or something? It seems such an unprovoked attack.
posted by dabitch at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2005


Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.
posted by Man O' Straw at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2005


Just goes to how far you can trust a chimp.

Not far.

srboisvert - priceless
posted by gottabefunky at 11:27 AM on March 4, 2005


Someone needs to show this story to sharksandwich.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:29 AM on March 4, 2005


Maybe it's just my imagination, but it sure looks like someone Photoshopped a face on that chimp's butt in the news photo that accompanies the article.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:29 AM on March 4, 2005


Looking through a housemate's books (perfectly legitimately, I should add), I came across a thin little one called something like 'Your Pet Monkey'.

Two things stuck in my mind:

1) Primates never grow up, emotionally, so you'd better pick a very small breed. Otherwise, the book said, it's like having a two year old in the house who is many times stronger than you are.

2) Primates cannot be potty trained.


My intrigue turned to alarm, but no baby chimp ever appeared at our doorstep.
posted by guanxi at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2005


it sure looks like someone Photoshopped a face on that chimp's butt

That would be:

a) Almighty God.
b) Evolution.

Please choose one, or proceed to "the theory of intelligent design."
posted by digaman at 11:34 AM on March 4, 2005


What a shame. I feel so bad for the owners. Here in the Los Angeles area (and in West Covina in the San Gabriel Valley in particular), people have known about the owners' "Save Moe" campaign for years.

Moe was taken away from them under controversial circumstances. You could go to the Davis' house and get literature from their front yard, which has huge signs that say stuff like "Save Moe". There used to be one that said "Honk for Moe" or something like that but the neighbors made the city stop all that. The guy could always be found sitting on a chair in his front yard. I saw him every time I passed by that house on the way to my Grandma's FOR YEARS.

Found a little article:
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/monkeywire/2002-May/000199.html

It should be noted (em, freebird) that it was not Moe that attacked, but other chimps.

A shame, such a shame.

I'm curious - one article I read said that in addition to having his face destroyed, his nose torn off, and being dragged about, that his testicles and foot were SEVERED. As in removed from the body?! I even looked up the definition. My goodness! I had no idea chimps were that strong. Balls, yeah I could understand. But a whole foot?!
posted by redteam at 11:35 AM on March 4, 2005


fenriq writes "What could possess a chimp to chew someone's face off is beyond me though."

It's suggestive, isn't it? Suggestive of a more human-like desire to humiliate or desecrate an enemy, to literally make him lose face, than an mere animal attack motivated by fear or hunger or even an animal desire to express dominance.

But they're just animals, and God gave us dominion over them, so let's lock them in two foot by three foot cages and give them AIDS. Or display them to laugh at. Oh, whoops, that last one is an aboriginal Tasmanian, not a chimp.

I mean they're only 3/5ths of a person. Um, I mean, their DNA is only 99% the same as ours.

Please see also my thoughts on our possible relations with even closer relations.
posted by orthogonality at 11:41 AM on March 4, 2005


"Please see also my thoughts on our possible relations with even closer relations."

I did not have relations with that chimp.
posted by Man O' Straw at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2005


I blame this guy.
posted by bardic at 11:46 AM on March 4, 2005


redteam, I had the same reaction, although the article I read said his foot was "mauled off". I'm deathly afraid of monkeys and simians in general now.

I call for a preemptive strike on monkeyfilter. You just know that one day they'll try to take mefi over, and with this sudden realization of their strength and savagery, now is the best time to forestall their plan!

Also, that's were I saw this story first. So it's obvious what they're thinking right now.
posted by splice at 11:48 AM on March 4, 2005


When a secret government experiment seeks to determine how long chimps can fly planes in a simulated situation after being exposed to lethal doses of radiation, is it any wonder they choose to retaliate? Go Virgil!
posted by billysumday at 11:50 AM on March 4, 2005


Orthogonality, its an interesting comment of yours you link to and one that I'm not capable of fully replying to right now (stupid work keeps getting in the way of my web surfing). But I will be thinking about it.

I do know that chimp social systems are very complex and it is entirely possible that the chimp that chewed off the guy's face wanted to make him lose face in front of Moe, to show a dominant posture or something along those lines. Or Davis may have flipped him off on the way to give Moe his birthday cake?
posted by fenriq at 11:53 AM on March 4, 2005


Wow. My childhood revery just got stranger: art imitates life (or is it the other way around?). BTW click on the link for "Mike Marmer and Stan Burns" for another story of chimp-on-human violence.
posted by bardic at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2005


Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.

Damn, Man O Straw, you got there before me.
posted by armoured-ant at 12:01 PM on March 4, 2005


This gives me the willies.

And things were so happy not long ago.
Moe the chimp celebrates reunion with owners at SoCal shelter

Associated Press

CALIENTE, Calif. - Puckering his lips for a kiss and leaping in his cage, Moe the Chimp celebrated the latest reunion with his owners, who raised the chimpanzee for more than 30 years before authorities banned the primate from their home.
No kisses now. The poor guy doesn't even have lips.
posted by pracowity at 12:03 PM on March 4, 2005


orthogonality: Wait, are you using this article to argue against caging animals that tear people's faces off and severed their testicles? And saying that treating them as less than human is no better than doing the same to people of different races?
posted by Simon! at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2005


The opening sentence in the article hurts my head:

A couple's visit to the chimpanzee they were forced to relinquish to an animal sanctuary turned tragic when two other chimps attacked the husband, critically wounded him before the animals were shot to death in mid-assault.
posted by tippiedog at 12:08 PM on March 4, 2005


"Monkeys are very furious."
posted by nyterrant at 12:14 PM on March 4, 2005


Monkey strength
posted by caddis at 12:20 PM on March 4, 2005


Simon! writes "orthogonality: Wait, are you using this article to argue against caging animals that tear people's faces off and severed their testicles? And saying that treating them as less than human is no better than doing the same to people of different races?"

I'm suggesting they may be human enough that being locked up in cage for forty years might leave them prone to rage.

While there are wild chimps who have killed humans, and even some who have done it serially, those cases seem to occur when humans encroach on chimp territory, levelling the forest to create farms. The question is, how different is that from a human of one tribe -- say, an American Indian -- resenting and even killing European colonists who drove him from his hunting grounds by felling trees and carving farms out of the forest?

If another group of people came into your neighborhood, burnt down your house, set up tents, and made it impossible for you to fed your children, might you not decide to kill as many of them as you could? If they instead came into your neighborhood, abducted you, and kept you in cage for forty years, might you not want to rip their balls off when -- as far as you could tell -- they came to taunt you with a cake they fed to another incarcerated victim?

My point is the chimp behavior is less like an animal's and more like a human's: a caged tiger might kill you, but he won't make a point of ripping off your face and your balls. But a caged human might well do that.

Chimp DNA is over 99% similar to ours -- there's real scientific weight behind treating them as another species of human. In which case "treating them as less than human" in fact "is [little] better than doing the same to people of different races".
posted by orthogonality at 12:38 PM on March 4, 2005


Bakerfield Californian (registration required): "Medics bagged Davis' severed nose and eye in hopes of reconstruction. His foot was gnawed off during the attack and he suffered a severe groin injury, Chealander said."

Also, My point is the chimp behavior is less like an animal's and more like a human's reminds me of this: "A British woman tore off her ex-lover's testicle when he rejected her advances at the end of a drunken house party."
posted by pracowity at 12:45 PM on March 4, 2005


I can't believe none of you noted that the article makes clear the reason for the attack: "Everybody was trying to get the chimp off," Chealander said.
posted by eatyourlunch at 12:46 PM on March 4, 2005


I don't care. I still want a monkey. Actually, I want one of those bad boy monkeys in the story. I could change him.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:47 PM on March 4, 2005


I guess I have some questions about the perps in this situation. It stated they were 16 and 13 years old--how does that translate into "human years"? Would they be considered teenage boys acting out in some form of testosterone poisoning / alpha male challenge? I assume these were not bonobos, but the other "war-waging, baby eating" chimp variety, where aggression and hand-to-hand combat play a daily role in their (wild) society.

Also, how did these chimps end up at the sanctuary? Were they abused or otherwise messed up before arriving? Chimps raised by humans are like human children in many ways, and being raised in an abusive environment can mess them up.
posted by Larzarus at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2005


The Davises were at the Animal Haven Ranch to celebrate the birthday of Moe....The couple had brought Moe a cake..
Jesus Christ, it's a fucking chimp! These people really need to get a life or something.
posted by c13 at 1:04 PM on March 4, 2005


Oh shit.

It figures that California would be the origin of zombie infection.
posted by catachresoid at 1:28 PM on March 4, 2005


Chimpanzees can kill anyone they want! Chimpanzees cut off heads ALL the time and don't even think twice about it. These guys are so crazy and awesome that they flip out ALL the time. I heard that there was this chimpanzee who was eating cake at a diner, and when some dude dropped a spoon the chimpanzee killed the whole town.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:39 PM on March 4, 2005


Jesus Christ, it's a fucking chimp! These people really need to get a life or something.
posted by c13 at 3:04 PM CST on March 4 [!]


People do stranger things for their cats and dogs, and a chimp is considerably more intelligent, personable and, well, human than either.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:41 PM on March 4, 2005


c13, I think, right now, he's happy to have a life at all.

If someone came and took your pet away, you wouldn't go and visit him, especially on his birthday? Damn.

Besides, if it had been fucking, there would have been more people around watching.
posted by fenriq at 1:46 PM on March 4, 2005


Chimp DNA is over 99% similar to ours

You know the same is true of mouse DNA, right? Just sayin'.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:04 PM on March 4, 2005


I just hope those chimps weren't infected with rage.
posted by mullingitover at 2:11 PM on March 4, 2005


Monkeys, on the other hand, usually just masturbate or pee on people who get too close.
posted by tommasz at 2:23 PM on March 4, 2005


fenriq writes "What could possess a chimp to chew someone's face off is beyond me though."
posted by fenriq at 2:09 PM EST on March 4


It's suggestive, isn't it? Suggestive of a more human-like desire to humiliate or desecrate an enemy, to literally make him lose face, than an mere animal attack motivated by fear or hunger or even an animal desire to express dominance.
posted by orthogonality at 2:41 PM EST on March 4


While I have no concrete evidence to back this up, I dated a primatologist several years ago, and she had told me that when Chimps attack, they usually try to "bite your face off". Her words. No surprise that I declined her offer to go meet "her" chimps in the lab.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:24 PM on March 4, 2005


I guess there actually ARE cases where monkeys aren't funny.
posted by newton at 2:59 PM on March 4, 2005


My first question would be, what conditions were these chimps kept in? How big was the cage? And like someone else asked, were these particular chimps abused in the past?

This makes me think of a contrasting monkey sanctuary called Monkey World in the UK, where chimps are kept in conditions most closely resembling what they would encounter in the wild - they have very large enclosures with plenty of things to climb on, and they are kept in large social groups. It's an example of how well things can work out when they are done right.

I learned about Monkey World by watching a series on it on Animal Planet a couple/few years ago. I was really impressed by all the thought, care, and work that went into making conditions as good for the chimps as possible.

One thing they did, for instance, was keep really young chimps together with a few adults who were known for being quite gentle and well-mannered, to help socialize the youngsters well before they were old enough to join a larger group with more adult chimps.

Anyway, I'm no primate expert, but I suspect that the chimps at Monkey World are by and large more well-adjusted, happy, and less aggressive than chimps kept in the sanctuary where the attack occurred. A group of only six chimps sounds small, and they weren't even all together. Also being kept in "cages" makes me think their allotted space was quite small indeed.

Not all that surprising that a very social animal used to living in large groups and ranging over a wide area might turn out inappropriately aggressive (well, *savage*) when kept in a cage.

I think the chimp sanctuary thing can be done right, but I don't think it was in this case. But who knows? They could have been just two completely psycho chimps no matter what conditions they had been kept in. Like I said, I'm no expert.
posted by beth at 3:03 PM on March 4, 2005


Perhaps the chimps are furious that even with one of their own kind serving as top banana in the White House, they're still stuck in those damn zoos.
posted by ericb at 3:08 PM on March 4, 2005


Just wanted to clarify the story - it was not the former pet Moe chimp that attacked the couple, but the 2 male chimps in nearby cages. - At least, thats what the article stated.
posted by Lizc at 3:19 PM on March 4, 2005


If someone came and took your pet away, you wouldn't go and visit him, especially on his birthday? Damn.

I have a dog. I don't really know when he's birthday is. Nor do I care. Especially if that dog bit a part of someone's finger before. Maybe I'm cold-hearted. Maybe I'm jealous of someone who has apparently nothing more important to do for six years than worry about a pet and put up signs in my front yard.
Or maybe not.
posted by c13 at 4:13 PM on March 4, 2005


Amm... HIS yard.. You know what I mean.
posted by c13 at 4:37 PM on March 4, 2005


From janegoodall.org, on Why Chimpanzees Don't Make Good Pets: "Chimpanzee owners have lost fingers and suffered severe facial damage."

I'm going to have nightmares about this attack, I just know it.
posted by Guy Smiley at 4:49 PM on March 4, 2005


Honestly, what kind of pussy was this guy? I mean, I think I could take a couple of monkeys, and I'm not even that badass. They're just monkeys. Did they get in a lucky punch? Were they armed? I am going to find and fight a monkey this weekend in order to settle this.
posted by jonson at 7:36 PM on March 4, 2005


Monkeys, on the other hand, usually just masturbate or pee on people who get too close.

My parents had a spider monkey as a pet before I was born, and he masturbated non-stop. My mom claims he had a weird technique, too, a sort of under-the-leg-and-reach-around thing.

You haven't lived until you've seen your mother get a little tipsy on the eggnog one Christmas Eve and proceed to give a demonstration of what her pet monkey looked like jerking off.
posted by jesourie at 7:40 PM on March 4, 2005


A little too appropriate advertisement.
posted by Feisty at 8:05 PM on March 4, 2005


Finally! An explanation as to why Michael Jackson has had so much plastic surgery!
posted by 6:1 at 8:13 PM on March 4, 2005


I am going to find and fight a monkey this weekend in order to settle this.
posted by jonson at 10:36 PM EST on March 4


I recommend that you invest in a good athletic cup to protect your johnson.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:20 PM on March 4, 2005


Excuse me, but, um, what's a "**lls"?
posted by majick at 8:23 PM on March 4, 2005


Seriously though, folks.

This is a major setback for those of us seeking monkey butlers.
posted by mullingitover at 9:03 PM on March 4, 2005


You haven't lived until you've seen your mother get a little tipsy on the eggnog one Christmas Eve and proceed to give a demonstration of what her pet monkey looked like jerking off.

Oh my, oh my. I'll contribute to a Paypal account, seeking funds to support you in whatever you need to do to "come to terms" - or, "to erase - for evermore" memories of such!
posted by ericb at 9:22 PM on March 4, 2005


Excuse me, but, um, what's a "**lls"?

Excuse me, but, um, what's a "ba***"?
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM on March 4, 2005


While I have no concrete evidence to back this up, I dated a primatologist several years ago

You should have kept a souvenir. Panties or something.

There is a 911 tape (mp3) here.
posted by pracowity at 3:13 AM on March 5, 2005


A few tidbits from an auspiciously timed (and rather graphic) program on NatGeo last night called Nature's Nightmares: The Dark Side of Chimps (airing again Friday, March 11th at 5 pm ET):
Chimpanzees (not to be confused with monkeys that are smaller and have tails) are 99% similar to humans in DNA (as orthogonality mentioned above).
Chimpanzees are omnivores but have a particular penhant for monkey meat (particularly baby and juvenile monkeys); other than humans, chimps eat the most meat of primates (kinda hard watching primates eating other primates).
Chimps attack and severe limbs first and attack the head and face and proceed to the guts.
A full grown male chimp is roughly 4 times as strong as a human.
Dispositions of chimps are usual good, but older chimps in captivity seem to become more aggressive and violent. The program alluded to an incident in which a zoo worker was ambushed by an adult chimp that bite off her thumb and index finger and most of the muscle mass of her right forearm.
In Uganda, there was a rash of human baby maulings by a single chimp (dubbed Saddam). The program asserted that the baby maulings were similar to how chimps feed on baby monkey (a particularly graphic photo of a baby with much of her face ate off was shown).
Chimps are one of the only mammals that will kill others of its species, other than desperate circumstances (famine,etc.; I wish they would have elaborated more).
Chimps have been observed to assess numbers before altercations and will only fight with a 4 to 1 advantage.
The program equated chimps with humans in its mob-like approach to isolating and beating other chimps (stomping, biting, severing limbs and genitalia, and slashing of throat were graphically shown intercut with scenes of a gang of people beating up someone).
Though Saddam (the chimp, not the despot) was captured and killed, another chimp (dubbed KiKi) has been again killing children in Uganda.
Crazy stuff. Try to catch the show if you can.
posted by Dante5Inferno at 4:52 AM on March 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


For the record, as Dante mentioned, chimps aren't monkeys; they are apes. If I had more gumption, I'd give you a link to an explanation of primate subtypes; maybe you could try Wikipedia.

I used to want to be a contestant on Letterman's "Know Your Monkey Astronauts". (Some of those astronauts were monkeys, some were chimps.)
posted by neuron at 1:08 PM on March 5, 2005


Dante5Inferno writes "Chimps have been observed to assess numbers before altercations and will only fight with a 4 to 1 advantage."

Mathematics: another by-product of fratricide.

And pre-human at that.

Yes, other animals have been shown to be able to count, or at least to note deficiencies, like missing eggs or young. But if National Geo is to be taken at its word, this is counting and also figuring out a ratio -- that's a cognitive leap. So the first mathematician wasn't a brilliant cave man. The first mathematician was a chimp -- and one with murder on his mind. Wow.
posted by orthogonality at 1:15 PM on March 5, 2005


Cordon off the zoo! It was obviously a hit!

If another group of people came into your neighborhood, burnt down your house, set up tents, and made it impossible for you to fed your children, might you not decide to kill as many of them as you could

Oh! Racist!
posted by tkchrist at 3:02 PM on March 5, 2005


Chimps are 4 times a strong as a human and will only fight with a 4 to 1 advantage? Holy shit.

So they don't want to fight fair eh? I suggest that humanity round up no less than sixteen humans to kick the shit out of Buddy or Ollie, that'll teach these primates a lesson.
posted by disgruntled at 3:36 PM on March 5, 2005


fenriq wrote:
What could possess a chimp to chew someone's face off is beyond me though.

Maybe we taste like chicken.
posted by disgruntled at 3:39 PM on March 5, 2005


Dante5Inferno: Just curious if the program in question had the chimps attacking their own offspring. Cause other mammals, kill others' offspring, but they don't eat them. So I wonder what that says about human cannibalism.
posted by MrMulan at 6:21 AM on March 6, 2005


The attack turned out to be worse than was originally reported. In addition to losing most of his face (one eye, most of his nose, cheeks, and lips) and foot, he lost all his fingers on both hands. The testicles are not mentioned, although it does say he lost "part of his buttocks." Mrs. Davis lost a thumb.

Ape specialist Deborah Fouts, director of the Chimp and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University, said the attack may have been prompted by jealousy.

'Chimpanzees have a real sense of right and wrong and fairness and unfairness," said Fouts, a veteran of four decades of work with chimps. 'It sounds like people were showering a lot of attention on Moe, birthday cake and the like. . . . Perhaps the other chimps were jealous of Moe."

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:48 AM on March 6, 2005


Yikes.
"When we made eye contact, the charge was on," LaDonna Davis said. "There was no stopping anything, and the big chimp came around from behind me and pushed me into my husband. The male came around from behind and chomped off my thumb. ... My husband must have realized we were in deep trouble because he pushed me backward. At that time, they both went for him."

St. James Davis, 62, lost all the fingers from both hands, an eye, part of his nose, cheek, lips and part of his buttocks in the ferocious attack, his wife said over the weekend on NBC's "Today Show." She also said one of his feet was mutilated. A Kern County Sheriff's commander also said his genitals were mauled.
posted by pracowity at 11:00 PM on March 8, 2005


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