With Monday being as slow as it was on the Ethics beat, I learned a little something about enterprise stories: They are fun and difficult. Let me elaborate.

I have finally got into the swing of things down in Jeff City, and my life was a little unraveled when I didn’t have a committee hearing on Monday to go to. I really like the fast-paced turn-around of writing stories on deadline after committees, but I might like enterprising even more. I started work on the nonhuman primate act that Sen. Keaveny is trying to pass through the legislature. I found the bill pretty comical until I delved into the subject.

I found out that there have been a few attacks on humans by said primates in the United States over the last few years. Sen. Keaveny’s legislative assistant, Stacy, was kind enough to send me a video about a particular one in Kansas City. This chimpanzee threw trash cans at Kansas City Police officers and attacked a little girl. Another chimp-gone-mad went off on a woman in Connecticut two years ago and mauled her face beyond recognition. The link between these two? Both apes were purchased from Jefferson County, Mo. I started looking into this and found that there are multiple sites where you can buy apes, tigers, lions and other exotic carnivores, and many states like Missouri don’t regulate the ownership of these dangerous animals.

On Tuesday I spoke with the Vice President of the St. Louis Zoo who told me that his zoo called on the senator to do something about the primate problem they are having. He spoke eloquently about the need for the Dept. of Agriculture to know exactly how many primates are owned as pets in the state, and this act would ensure that with permits on the animals. He also expressed concern for the animals welfare, since the act would require regular veterinary care. I’m not sure what kind of vets know a whole lot on these animals, but I’ll find out.

The hearing is scheduled for March 2, but that’s not a definite date. Once I know more about the monkeys, I’ll keep going. But for now, in the state of Missouri, monkey owners see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

Read the final story here There’s some interesting debates going on in the comments.

Advertisements