Domesticated chimp is on the loose

July 1, 2008 5:21:05 AM PDT
A chimpanzee who is toilet-trained and can eat with a knife and fork is believed to be on the loose in a Southern California forest.

The 42-year-old chimp called Moe disappeared Friday from Jungle Exotics, which trains animals for the entertainment industry. Some construction workers saw him head for a nearby mountain.

A weekend search in the San Bernardino National Forest 50 miles east of Los Angeles came up empty.

His distraught owners, La Donna and St. James Davis, broke down in tears at a news conference yesterday. They've appealed for tracking dogs that may be able to follow the scent from Moe's blankets.

The couple raised Moe for more than three decades. They were forced to move him to an animal sanctuary in 1999 after he bit part of a woman's finger off when she put her hand in his cage.

The Davises were attacked by two other chimps at a sanctuary in 2005 and St. James Davis was almost killed.