I was channel hopping the other night (as I often do in the vague hope of finding something watchable – particularly as the TV guide is far from reliable) when I paused briefly at the History channel.
It was a program that seemed to be about wild animals in general being kept in captivity in the US and chimpanzees seemed to be the featured species.
I am not going into the rights and wrongs of keeping wild animals (or the stupidity of the untrained people who do so) as that is not what this article is about. There have been some absolutely horrific attacks by “pets” in general and chimpanzees in particular in this regard and I think they speak quite eloquently for themselves.
Knowing what you are doing and legitimately keep a wild animal is one thing. Not knowing and keeping one because you think it’s cool is another thing entirely.
What caught my attention was the statement that in December of 1963, Florida police pulled over a car that was being driven by a chimpanzee. Allegedly at 70 mph. The chimpanzee had apparently been trained or taught to drive – I assume as part of an act.
Can you imagine the look on a cop’s face – drawing alongside a speeding car – when he realized it was being driven by a chimpanzee? Priceless!
I would dearly love to know more about this incident so if anyone has more info I would be grateful.
Update – Many thanks to…
- Bill, who provided this picture of Cappy.
- Tara, who let me know Cappy passed of old age on 12/6/2013. Very sad.