The whole situation with the Las Vegas chimps just doesn’t smell right.
Here’s the situation. Two Las Vegas chimps, Buddy and Calamity Jane (CJ) has escaped from their enclosure at a home located near Jones Blvd and Ann Rd in Northwest Las Vegas last month.
It was a serious situation with Las Vegas Metro units responding in full force.
Multiple twitter messages went out from police warning residents to stay indoors while attempts were made to capture the chimps
The two chimps rampaged through the neighborhood. Police with the help of a local veterinarian were able to tranquilize CJ. Unfortunately for Buddy, he charged a cop and was shot dead.
CJ was then returned to her enclosure.
After that escape questions were raised about the conditions the chimps were raised in and who actually owned the chimps.
And then CJ, the surviving chimp escaped again only days ago, just one month after the first escape prompting renewed concerns of the ability of these “owners”, “co-owners”, “trainers” – they keep changing their title – ability to care for the surviving chimp and more importantly to safeguard the public.
Many began questioning why the chimps were not in an animal sanctuary in the first place.
This is not a situation that just happened. It’s been in the making for over 10 years!
Some 10 plus years ago, 8 News Now had did an investigative piece about these 2 chimps, Buddy and CJ, after they received a tip from animal rights activists that the chimps were being put on display in an indoor swap meet in Las Vegas.
The woman who identified herself as the “trainer” Nikki Riddell, now Nikki Grusenmeyer, invited the I-Team into her home. According to their report, they visited with Nikki Grusenmeyer several times and she admitted that the chimps were wild animals although they concluded that she never seemed to face the reality that living with wild animals might not be such a good idea.
It appears that this Nikki Grusenmeyer treated the chimps more like family. As you can from these photos that were culled from Grusenmeyer’s facebook account, the chimps were often photographed in the home, eating at the dinner table and she referred to Buddy the chimp as her son.
It is apparent that the two chimps were treated like family members. This can be a potentially dangerous and deadly situation.
Who can forget Charla Nash from Connecticut who had her face ripped off and is slowly recovering from being attacked by a chimp who lived in a home of her friend and was also treated like family. You can read about her harrowing attack, face transplant and continued rehabilitation on the Charla Nash website.
Nikki has been quiet through both of the escapes and has been accused on her facebook page of being a rich woman amusing herself with playthings.
Ten years ago, the I-Team met with Nikki Grusenmeyer because there were concerns about the welfare of the Las Vegas chimps Buddy and CJ but there’s another person involved in this saga. Her name is Timmi DeRosa.
Timmi has been referred to as the “other mummy” of the chimps by Grusenmeyer on her facebook page.
DeRosa, a professional poker player, had claimed at times to be the chimps caretaker, trainer, owner and co-owner. She seems to enjoy the limelight and has been interviewed a number of times giving conflicting statements each and every time.
DeRosa is a well known poker player. So what’s her connection?
Other than being the other “mummy” of the chimps, as of late she is being referred as the chimps co-owner and not a trainer as she previously portrayed herself.
Here is some interesting and very disturbing information about the woman who has come to be the face and voice of the chimps.
Here’s what she told Fox 5 Vegas News.
There’s no such thing as a foolproof cage when it comes to Chimpanzees. You have to look at it as the same thing as a prison. Their job is to break out. It’s a bad situation
It’s a bad situation? Yes for the chimp and she as “co-owner”, “trainer”, “owner” or however she refers to herself in the moment, is the one that is responsible for the bad situation.
It get’s worse, DeRosa is listed a one of the founders of The Courtland Brandenberg Foundation located in Beverly Hills which was founded in 2005.
Here is the foundations mission statement culled directly from the Courtland Brandenberg website,
We can – and must do more for our friends. If we’re going to use chimps to help us, we’ve simply got to return that favor by giving them a happy, decent life.
How utterly tragic.
Even worse is she is still trying to capitalize on the chimps.
There has been an outcry to move the surviving chimp CJ to an animal sanctuary and only after the USDA released their report which said that the chimps lacked proper veterinary care and inadequate housing and that their primary structure was not kept in good repair nor was it structurally sound, did they act and say they were finally moving CJ to a sanctuary.
But they were going to give CJ a going away party and were soliciting donations.
Donations? It’s your chimp. How about using the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you have won playing poker to try to right the wrong that has been committed?
Who was the party for – – DeRosa? CJ surely couldn’t be let loose to mingle!
And wouldn’t it be stressful for the chimp to have all the people around not to mention the very real danger this poses to public safety?
That was just a day before CJ escaped again – a month after both chimps had first escaped.
Is it any wonder that the chimps want out?
After their lost their cuteness or became too difficult to handle, they were just locked up.
Knowing a life, improper as it was, of eating at the dinner table and drinking out of pepsi cans, lounging in the house , pretending to read newspapers, is it hard to imagine that they were not happy being in an enclosure?
After the second escape Las Vegas police were taking no chances and took CJ to the Zoo.
Then a local magician, Dirk Arthur stepped up and said he would care for CJ until she is moved to the sanctuary. He has a tigers cage, is experienced working with exotic animals in his show and the cage is believed to be strong enough to house CJ temporarily since it’s reinforced with steel
He’s a true animal advocate, as well as a great showman and just a great person.
Timmi DeRosa has been cited for possession of a dangerous animal and for an animal running loose. Finally! One can hope that she will be truly held accountable for her actions and that the other people involved in the tragic case of mistreatment will be charged as well. She can face a small fine and jail time.
CJ is slated to be moved to the animal sanctuary soon. She had to have a TB test first before they will accept her.
Since the owner did not provide adequate veterinary care, let’s hope that CJ is free of TB and can live out, “a happy, decent life” at the sanctuary something her caretakers could not provide.