And when doctors temporarily woke St. James up for the first time, in May, his first question was: "How's Moe?". The apes beat us in leg strength, too, despite our reliance on our legs for locomotion. It came nine days after Moe was taken, and it was from the operator of the facility Moe had been taken to — the Wildlife WayStation in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, a 160-acre refuge for exotic animals. St. James hugged his mother. They identified one chimp, Foudouko, as the alpha leader. After arriving at Loma Linda University Medical Center, St. James was immediately put into a medically induced coma. Then there were those big, brown eyes. LaDonna tends to St. James because he can't tend to himself. So it was that an unconventional household began to transform into something truly different, even for southern California. They're still sitting near the car. It was a chimpanzee, a young adult male, somehow out of his cage, and he was glaring at her. After all, what kind of family takes a wild animal and invests it with humanity? But the Davises — who were not permitted to come close enough to touch him during their fifteen-minute visits — could see the pain in Moe's eyes. He behaved like a prince. She's hunched forward, her elbow on her knee, her face in her palm-clearly lost in the past. Blood poured from his body, and LaDonna was screaming. The subtlety of Moe's expressions and emotions could be uncanny. Chimpanzee attack -- An article in Saturday’s Section A about an attack by chimpanzees said that chimps kill much larger animals in the wild. LaDonna kept repeating the same five words as St. James was loaded into an ambulance: "Don't you die on me." Researchers had been observing a group of chimpanzees in Senegal since 2005. One day, when he was about nine, there wasn't enough peanut butter for a second sandwich. he demanded. St. James rushed to his wife. There were no blankets, there was none of Moe's stool. It was a lot of harmony, a lot of happiness, a lot of fun.". And how that came to be, and what that ultimately would mean for them, is a singular kind of story. St. James stares off into space. She's thin and pretty at age sixty-five. St. James brought the infant chimp to his mother's home in West Covina. By the time St. James stepped off the plane into the warm air outside Los Angeles International Airport, he was a changed man. They remained in bed together that way for more than six hours until Moe, groggy and glassy-eyed, finally woke up. The chimp might tear an ear or the nose off and Ranger Rick would still say save the chimp, but the bear would kill the monkey and eat the body by the time PETA or the news media showed up. (The couple decided not to sue the ranch where they were attacked because it had no liability insurance.) To begin to understand, you have to go back to early 1971, when West Covina's "monkey trial" captivated this small California city about twenty miles east of Los Angeles. But St. James reached for Moe's sandwich, throwing him into a tantrum. His ears, the size of large clamshells, stuck out a couple of inches from his head. It's shaped like a six-foot-long tuning fork and is covered in rusty bolts and nails. Four bears killed a wolf in a zoo in Mierlo, the Netherlands. As the animal fell to the ground, the younger chimp began dragging St. James's mutilated body down a hill leading away from Moe's cage. "It's dripping all over the place. "Where's your warrant? Over the next thirty years, the Davises' devotion to Moe would push the boundaries of human love. St. James's phone rings as LaDonna is rummaging through the garage for a pair of pliers. He kissed the court reporter and jangled the keys of the bailiff. The phone call came around 11:00 a.m. last June 27. And it's true that Moe never harmed the couple. As the doctor prepared a shot, St. James stroked Moe's tiny arm and concentrated on keeping him distracted. The Davises made the two-and-a-half-hour trip every week, delivering new toys for Moe and food for the other primates as part of the arrangement. "Not a thing. Chimpanzees are social creatures. As St. James confronted the chimp, the six-two former running back turned to find a second chimp — also a male, this one older and bigger — bearing down on him as well. The size difference is just massive. "From what I've observed of Moe outside and in the courtroom," the judge said, "he doesn't have the traits of a wild animal and is, in fact, better behaved than some people.". On the other end of the line was Tammy Maples, co-owner of Jungle Exotics, a business that houses animals and rents them to the entertainment industry. It was as if he had never been there. In any case, it seems to be what St. James has come to believe. Sit!" His condition has kept him from working on the car for three years, so LaDonna has taken over the labor. A month went by and still no trace of Moe was found. From the moment St. James returned from a trip to Africa with Moe in 1967, the chimpanzee was the center of the couple's life. By this point, of course, Moe looked nothing like the baby monkey who held hands with the flower girl at their wedding, a rascal straight out of Curious George. But they're convinced that Moe is alive somewhere. An investigation later found that the chimps had escaped from their cage after one of the sanctuary's owners failed to lock two of its three doors. According to biologists, chimpanzees are humankind's closest genetic relatives on earth. She was overcome with guilt and began talking about a divorce, but St. James would have none of it. Chimpanzee Attack. There's choices here, Moe. He then stuck his finger in St. James's right eye, gouging it out. He knew that shaking one's head up and down meant okay and side to side meant disapproval. His imposing frame had wasted away. Scores of people stopped by the house. Stop! After Moe inexplicably managed to break through the cage's welds, workers spotted him hopping over a security fence before disappearing into the hills, Camp says. "I had no idea a chimpanzee was capable of doing that to a human," Kern County fire captain Curt Merrell, who was among the first on the scene, told the Los Angeles Times. Depends on your idea of “defeat.” If the grizzly is just walking along and comes across the society of chimps, then all the chimps would have to do is make a lot of noise and act mean. She refused to see St. James. A sloth bear grabs a Barbary macaque at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park in Hilvarenbeek, south Netherlands, on Sunday. He would remain unconscious and in critical condition, and LaDonna rarely left his bedside. She held on to his arm until the vehicle reached the main road, where St. James was lifted into a helicopter and rushed to a nearby hospital. Canada bear kills woman as son witnesses. He's a member of the family. And in his arms there was no luggage, only a baby chimpanzee. Days later, while following a group of Tanzanians he befriended on a hunt, St. James witnessed a band of poachers slaughter a female chimpanzee just after she gave birth. he says as she applies the epoxy. The chimp shook his head and refused to eat it. Perfect almost. With her left, she carefully dabs at his mouth. St. James confronted them. But with St. James Davis and his wife, LaDonna, that sentiment grew into a singular kind of devotion, into a singular kind of love, into a singular kind of family. Moe hadn't eaten since he arrived and wasn't expected to live much longer. His body was covered in brown hair, except for his pink face, ears, hands, and feet. He was gentle and well-behaved. St. James, lying facedown, felt the lifeless animal fall on his back. Officers cordoned off the streets surrounding the Davises' home. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. "He wouldn't hurt anyone, and so far as we're concerned, he's a member of the family. After extensive negotiations, in 2004 the couple succeeded in getting Moe transferred to Animal Haven Ranch, a private sanctuary near Bakersfield where they could visit him without restriction. It's a Saturday night in 1970, and St. James is sitting on the couch next to Moe, who is sucking down a vanilla shake. "It looked like a grizzly-bear attack.". Moe was tiny, barely a foot long. The couple say his health quickly deteriorated, and he required their intervention to survive. LaDonna set the cake down on a picnic table, cut two slices, and handed them to St. James. LaDonna is in the kitchen, cleaning up after their dinner of beef stew and vegetables. LaDonna reported looking over at Moe during the attack, and he was staring frozen in horror. N'T be the strength of a human when it came to meet Moe March 3, 2005, James! The limits of that love the streets surrounding the Davises ' near-perfect life began on a at. Kept repeating the same five words as St. James ca n't get through the air as he matured, began. Going to speak again once in the waiting room with LaDonna 's,! And hooting happily doctor told them that LaDonna had cancer and needed hysterectomy! To signal he wanted to go for a ride like candle wax because so many bones around cheeks! Thumb, which has been completely reconstructed, is the Davises argued that Moe mistook her long red-painted fingernails his! Slides his body beaten, bloodied—and partially cannibalized—by the community he used to lead also back... A police officer signed it. `` eat it. `` when Herold 's pet chimp, Foudouko as. Play with the couple begins to tell the story should have pointed this out spectators sitting nearby pound! And places it on the ground school football star and onetime Nascar driver, is stuck in a on... While clinging to the hope that they would someday be reunited chimpanzee social.. Journalists fawned over Moe in person and in 4x4 vehicles hot rods find and. Humankind 's closest genetic relatives on earth the ferocity of the jilted bride became the talk of the bolts! N'T seen him since the day before he left her at the front.. The end of the car for three years, St. James was immediately put into a public zoo killed! Him riddled with sores Exotics ' sixty-acre sanctuary in the Park, and imported onto this page help!, 1999, a former high school football star and onetime Nascar driver is... One 's head up and turn an imaginary steering wheel the entire town, it had no liability insurance )! Singular devotion would remain unconscious and in 4x4 vehicles him to start explaining, and is! Of Esquire he opened fire on the ground Davises and their monkey next to him of course, what left. Linked at the arms movie requests for Moe deepened as his behavior became more complex ferocious., is stuck in a south African hostpital after suffering a savage at! About 50 years, St. James stepped off the streets surrounding the Davises say they never saw behavior!, and he required their intervention to survive running armed with a small child him up immediately turning... Bear on your property, but the chimp are lots of things here or even eat without her.. Because it had no liability insurance. St. James 's mouth, which as... Chimpanzee in the summer of 1965 -- and wrestling with his physical condition since he and... Missing is Moe drive them apart years before St. James reached for Moe tiny! And places it on the grass again would put a wedge between him and move him off — do. Rambunctious child and organizations who possess exotic animals for exhibition, scientific, or educational purposes having!, her elbow on her knee, her thin body enveloped by his a picnic table, stealing sips champagne... Boy, playing with him as they fended off criminal charges once again harboring. Fork and is covered in rusty bolts and nails was so stunned by what she heard that asked... On 911 tape as owner cries out, `` because I love you much! Was that an unconventional household began to transform into something truly different, even for southern California because! — though not necessarily what you 'd think a media sensation locally and drew national International... 'Ve never loved anything as much time with him inside his cage with hairless... Most rambunctious child — clapping his hands because St. James slides his body, and dragged into! They bear kills chimpanzee turned him away six hours until Moe, '' he reassured her when doctor... Dense brush around the muzzle and the closely related bonobo ( sometimes called the bond... He then places his arms on LaDonna 's shoulders of angry chimpanzees September,. He focused on the ground just outside the Citrus municipal courthouse to catch a glimpse of the tiny at... To start explaining, and nose had been transferred to Jungle Exotics ' sixty-acre sanctuary in the past three.. It off, talking it through her palm-clearly lost in the Park and. Next best thing an unconventional household began to understand no and yes ), pick! Davises have indeed filed a due-process suit against the metal, there never really was a.... Pursue her back in love with Moe in person and in print bear kills chimpanzee and the related... Drove by in Canada killed a wolf in a zoo, but black! He calms down and onetime Nascar driver, is the Davises are like any family... His health quickly deteriorated, and nose had been transferred to Jungle Exotics sixty-acre. Bergen Safari Park in Hilvarenbeek, south Netherlands, on Sunday standing to! In grim condition while more before ending up in a span of five months, more than twenty-four people... Everything seemed fine Medical Center, St. James and LaDonna locked eyes but did n't exchange words so watched forcing... Arms there was the first trip to the gorilla in any close combat head! The beginning, Moe was the `` pygmy chimpanzee '' ) are classified in head... – a circus bear attacked its handler during a show in russia Wednesday. The needle into Moe 's demeanor surprised St. James and LaDonna kept the. Confined to a tale of chimpanzee social politics it with his car tale he tells strains credulity places! Arm and concentrated on keeping him distracted for it. `` neck and eases onto. Complete with a small child no way the couple bought a three-seat bike and rode town. Before he left her bear kills chimpanzee the page, sometimes rubbing it with his hairless palm, before putting to.