Monkey business in Kansas City

| 10/29/2003

An unnamed trucker got in trouble Oct. 27 when Kansas City, KS, police discovered he had a grown chimp riding shotgun.

Another trucker spotted the 160-pound, 12-year-old female in a cage in a semi cab in a parking lot.

The owner said he'd been going to the parking lot daily to feed the chimp, but police quoted by KCTV Channel 5 said they didn't see any evidence of food or water in the truck.

The cab is now “sans simian” after authorities removed the animal and took it to a shelter just across the state line in Lee's Summit, Mo.

Ray Waggener, a trucker from California, found the chimp after he pulled up next to the cab.

"I heard something, some spitting or something, so I looked up, and it's just a cage on the inside of the window there,” he told the TV station. “I see some eyes looking at me, nose, mouth, and looked up. I said, well, 'How ya’ doin' there, bud?'

“I thought (it was) some idiot (dressed up) ... for Halloween," Waggener said.

Then, Waggener got a closer look, and he realized it was a real animal. He called the police.

"They all came out laughing, like what have you been smoking? I don't do drugs. I don't drink on duty, you know. The officer got up there and looked, and he said, 'There is a (chimp) in there,' and I said, 'yeah',” Waggener said.

The chimp's owner, who was not named, was cited for animal neglect, as well as not having the proper permit. It wasn't the first time he'd been cited for monkey business. Two other Animal Control agencies seized the chimp at one time or another, the TV station reported.