Killer Chimps: Your Critique?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 13th, 2009

History Channel on Wednesday, August 12th, repeated six MonsterQuest episodes and then screened the never-before-broadcast program, “Killer Chimps.”

Angry Chimp

What did you think of the episode?

MonsterQuest: Killer Chimps in America
Airs on Wednesday August 12 09:00 PM & Friday August 13 01:00 AM
Chimpanzees are known to us as amusing circus attractions and are even popular as pets, but when they attack the results are frightening and horrific. Just as disturbing, across the U.S., witness reports suggest that chimpanzees may be on the loose. In the 1920s and 30s, chimps were common in Florida as part of road side carnivals and zoos, but in some cases these animals were let loose or escaped. Today, not only are attacks from pet chimps on the rise, but witnesses in Florida describe encounters with what may be wild chimpanzees. Now, MonsterQuest trackers and primatologists investigate how vicious chimps can actually get, and whether the environment could sustain these primates by searching the swamps and wilderness for a population of wild chimps in America.
WARNING: This episode contains a few descriptions and images which may be disturbing to some individuals.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

19 Responses to “Killer Chimps: Your Critique?”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    Looking forward to the Chimps episode. The commercial for it on History was pretty scary.
    Long live MQ!!!

  2. MrInspector responds:

    I honestly found the descriptions of the chimp attacks to be very disturbing. I know a local gentleman who keeps exotics and I’ve tried telling him that large cats aren’t pets but he want’s to argue with me about it. I’m afraid one day we’ll be hearing a similar story about him.
    As disturbing as the stories were and the video of the man telling his story, (with his face badly disfigured) I was much more disturbed by the deaths of these innocent chimps. They are just doing what they do! THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T KEEP WILD ANIMALS AS PETS!!! GET A DOG!!!(not wolves)
    I never finished the episode, I got too angry with the people who wanted to keep “cute little monkeys” as pets. Apes aren’t pets, and putting pants on them doesn’t make them members of the family. Animals aren’t domesticated in a single or even several generations. It takes commitment on a grand scale over human generations.
    With that being said, did they find evidence of “apes gone wild” in Florida?

  3. MountDesertIslander responds:

    I watched the episode. It ran out of steam for me.

    I got the impression the producers had about 10 minutes of disturbing audio and images and tried to turn that into an hour. That’s about par for what goes on during MonsterQuest. That franchise is rapidly becoming the worthy successor to PT Barnum’s sansationalism.

  4. kittenz responds:

    I did not see any compelling evidence presented for the presence of wild chimpanzees in Florida or anywhere else in the USA. I realize that chimps do escape captivity from time to time but I don’t think that they survive for very long in the wild here. Maybe the occasional chimp could survive for awhile but most either die of starvation and exposure or are recaptured. Monkeys wild in Florida – yes, chimps, no.

    I really don’t even like the idea of chimps in zoos, but if chimps are going to be kept in captivity at all, it should be an absolute requirement that they be provided with large, intellectually stimulating habitats where they can be allowed to socialize with other chimps. If a zoo cannot afford to provide that kind of habitat, then that zoo should not have chimps.

    The use of chimps in medical research and as private pets should be banned. Period. Just banned outright. The only research that could possibly be justified is research that would benefit chimps in some way.

  5. mitchigan responds:

    I was surprised that no one mentioned the alleged sightings of chimps as possibly being that of skunk apes.

  6. floridacats responds:

    A friend from Kenya and I liked to bass fish on the St. John’s River near Astor, Florida which is close to the Ocala National Forest. We would be on the water by 6 am during the week and saw few people. It would be very quiet except for our lures popping the water and barking of the alligators.

    One trip my friend asked if I heard a noise up in the trees across from where we were fishing. I said I did and he said that if we were in Africa, it sounds like a bunch of monkeys chattering! We couldn’t make them out so I couldn’t say for sure if they were chimps but definitely monkeys of some sort.

    I later heard from people in the area that they were escaped animals and known to the locals.

  7. krs9864 responds:

    I watched the episode and have to say I was disappointed. Sadly MQ has indeed turned into a P T Barnum production. That being said, I would have to say, in MOP, given the type of environment and the intelligence shown both in the wild and in captivity of this species, it is very possible there are small populations living in the wild.

  8. forsakenfuture responds:

    I have to agree that they should of gone into how some people believe that is the reason for the Skunk ape sightings.As for the rest of the was disturbing and most things dont bother me.It felt more of a documentry on ape attacks then a MQ episode.

  9. korollocke responds:

    It left me cold.

  10. cryptidsrus responds:

    My impression:

    I agree it WAS genuinely disturbing for about ten minutes. Played more like a documentary. 3 out of 5 stars.

    Personally I have no problem believing escaped cchimps could OCCASIONALLY survive in the wild. My take, of course.

  11. swnoel responds:

    I found the show educational.
    With the proliferation of wild animals owned as pets, Florida has certainly become ground zero for release of many.
    While it was unclear that there was any population of chimps, the possibility of individual animals are quite possible.
    I would suggest for those that think these animals are like Disney animals, to view the show again.
    Wild animals taken into captivity are still wild and will , if they chose, kill you.
    Thank you MQ!!

  12. Doug responds:

    I seem to think that, yes, the scenes were disturbing. Learning that they grow into something more than the usually cuddly creatures they are when young was fascinating. It was interesting to see how they were trying to show a connection between attacks from ones in captivity to the possiblility of it happening from the wild ones.
    Whether Florida can sustain a population of chimpanzees remains to be seen, but mitchigan’s post of why no one theorized it could explain skunk ape sightings was an interesting one.

  13. sasquatch responds:

    Didn’t watch it..Chimps are known animals…therefore should not be the subject on Monsterquest…same with the episode on feral dogs.
    I would rather see failed attempts at finding Bigfoot in different parts of the country EVERY WEEK than shows about KNOWN animals….BORING.
    At least Destination Truth is coming up soon…But they’ll probably have some clinkers too….ghosts… hew boy…
    Maybe I’ll get rid of Satelite TV.

  14. Rob008 responds:

    I just want to start off by saying that I live in Florida. After reading the comments made, it seems that the general consensus is that there are no chimps running around Florida. I on the other hand do believe that there are exotic pets that are loose in Florida. Not long ago a chimp was seen and photographed up near Gulf Breeze. Another type of ape was seen further north. My uncle, who has lived in Floirda all his life, has told me stories about when Hollywood, would make jungle movies down in Florida, and were sometimes loosing animals. The Myakka photo show clearly a orangutan that has probably gotten loose. When I was living in Okeechobee, we had spider monkeys in our back yard (They use throw their poop at you). I also believe that some of these Skunk Ape sightings might be infact be loose chimps. Florida has always had a problem with exotic pets getting loose. Down in Fort Myers, they have problem with Nile monitors and the Everglades has anacondas and pythons. There is no reason to think that there cannot also be chimps or apes roaming around to. I don’t understand how you can believe in a 8 foot bipedal anthropoid, but you can’t believe in an escaped chimp living in the Florida woodlands.

  15. dobher-chu responds:

    listen im a zoologist and have to ask why do so many people say things like “these animals could not live in the wild for very long”, big cats do it in areas completely out of their natural habitat and most of all the people here are referring to one of the most intelligent animals on earth as well as being an opportunistic feeder.

    the second point i have to make is if you raise any animal (including humans) in capitivy it is bound to affect their psychological outlook towards its captors.

  16. swnoel responds:

    Rob, not everyone believes there can’t be chimps, I believe there are some, but I can’t believe there are any populations of them.

    As you have stated, there are many exotics that are now thriving and inhabiting Florida.

    It’s a shame and very dangerous that this is occuring.

    Unfortunately, many of these exotics are still coming into the state, some legally and some illegally.

    I know that shutting the barn door, after the horse is out ,might not make much sense, but the Federal Government should eliminate exotics from coming into the country.

  17. tropicalwolf responds:

    10 minutes good…

    Would have been great had the title been “Owls and Swine of the Swamp”

  18. Rob008 responds:

    I need to clarify myself. I don’t believe that there is a large population of killer chimps hiding in Florida. I do believe that there are some chimps/apes loose here in Florida. I believe that they are responsible for some (not all) the Skunk Ape sightings here in Florida. I also believe that once they are seen, they vacate the immediate area and move on to another location. As far as the exotic snake goes, My theory is that these exotic animal importers/sellers are letting anacondas and pythons loose in the everglades on purpose. Why you say. think about. They let the snakes loose in the everglades, they go and make baby snake. the seller goes back to where he let them loose as scarfes up the baby snakes and selles them. He doesn’t have to travel all the way back to South America and he doesn’t have to pay import cost on all those snakes. I do hope the authorities catch these crooks before the damage the Everglades ecosystem. You watch. we will end up having a piranha problem down there

  19. jimnypivo responds:

    Underwhelmed I was, first by only 10 minutes of ‘killer chimps stories’, second for the following 50 minutes of the typical Monsterquest episode recipe.

    I really have diffculty taking MQ seriously when they apply that same formula to all their topics: choose a subject, talk to Jeff Meldrum or Loren for a few minutes, fly in a crew of ‘experts’ for three days, and then show us deer pictures on trail cams.

    Heck, they may have gotten better results with that Bigfoot-bothered fishing cabin in Canada if they’d exteded their visit for more than a few days. Maybe if they stayed with their subject a little longer they’d come up with something a bit more interesting.

    I also agree with mitchigan. Why no tie-in with skunk apes or even a suggestion the Myakka ape might have been a feral Bonzo?

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