[monkeywire] Search underway for Loose Primate in Campbell County

Amber Hewins ahewins at mac.com
Thu Oct 23 09:15:35 EDT 2003


http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?s=1489490

Search underway for Loose Primate in Campbell County

October 20, 2003

By VINCE LENNON
6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) -- Animal control                                      
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                     officers in 
Campbell County are searching for a primate, perhaps weighing 400 
pounds, that's on the loose. And   nearly 100 pets are missing.

"I didn't really get a good                                             
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                         look at his face because he didn't hang around 
all that long,"   Donna Keathley said about                             
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                         when she saw an ape-like 
creature last week   in LaFollette. "But he's big and he's got a really 
bad stinkful odor to   him."

LaFollette                                                              
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                    Animal Control Officer George Moses said, "I   
believe that the people believe that they see it. I don't have any 
reason to doubt   them, that they're mistaken."

Moses said he hasn't seen the animal but he's certainly   heard of it. 
He started getting calls about it three                                 
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                  weeks ago.   All the alleged sightings 
center on the College Hill community, just outside the LaFollette city  
  limits.

Coinciding with the sightings   are numerous reports of missing cats 
and kittens. "All told, over 100" are missing, Moses   said.

According to Donna   Keathley, when she startled the animal, "This 
kitten he threw at me, no one knows   where it come from."

One College Hill man, who declined to be identified, claims   the 
primate is an orangutan. He said he saw it Tuesday morning   leaving 
stool samples on his property.

Many College Hill residents believe the   animal escaped a circus that 
performed at the nearby National Guard   armory a few months back. But 
the LaFollette Police Department and the Campbell County Sheriff's 
Department didn't   take any reports of a missing animal.

Donna Keathley said her neighbors are   ready to shoot the animal. "If 
I had a gun, I would've shot it."

Several people told 6 News Monday that they want the animal caught or 
killed   before Halloween so it can't attack a child or another pet.

Campbell County   officers warn anyone who sees the animal not to 
attempt capturing it. It's considered dangerous. Instead, any sighting 
should be   reported immediately to LaFollette Animal Control at 
(423)-566-1383.

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