Friday, October 15, 2004

SEEING MORE MOE

Couple Reunited With Moe the Chimp

A West Covina couple who raised a chimpanzee in their home for 33 years before his forced removal to a sanctuary in 1999 will be able to see him regularly again, starting this weekend.

"Words cannot express how thrilled we are to finally be reunited with Moe," LaDonna Davis said from the Los Angeles law office of Gloria Allred. "After five years of separation, our `family' is finally together again."

She and her husband, St. James, have had limited access to Moe since he was placed at the 160-acre Wildlife Waystation on the edge of the Angeles National Forest, five miles north of the Foothill (210) Freeway.

To see him they had to pay several hundred dollars for a county fire safety officer to be present for each visit.

But Moe's recent transfer to the Animal Haven Ranch at Caliente in Kern County will enable the Davises to see their "child" more often -- and for as long as they want.

Moe's mother was killed by poachers in Africa. St. James Davis brought the chimpazee home to America, and he and his wife raised the primate for more than 30 years, treating him as their child. He ate with them, slept with them and watched TV with them.

But in September 1999, after Moe was accused of maiming a police officer and biting off the tip of a woman's finger, which the chimpanzee apparently mistook for licorice because of the victim's red fingernail, he was taken to the Wildlife Waystation....