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article imageNot a Single Sighting of Moe the Chimp

By Sandie Freeman     Jul 14, 2008 in Lifestyle
Search continues for Moe the Chimp who seems to have just vanished into the thicket of Devore. The door is closing on the hope he is found alive.
Moe taking a break
Moe is sitting and taking a break having a bottle of water.
Sandie Freeman
Sixteen days ago Moe the Chimp escaped his cage at Jungle Exotics in Devore, California and seemingly vanished into thin air.
Devore is a small unincorporated community located where the I-15 meets the I-215 in San Bernardino County. Devore, being a remote area seems like the perfect location to have a business such as Jungle Exotics which rents and trains animals for movies. These animals range from small to big and include domestic as well as exotics.
It is a perfect setting for housing various animals in numbers, but not so perfect when an animal escapes it's cage and heads for the forest, a forest vast in size and so dense in parts that, according to wildlife expert and author John Hockaday, deer and coyote don't enter, instead they feed on the perimeter.
Mr. Hackaday, who prefers to call himself a fanatic rather than an expert, shared his expertise of the area with me as well as the chance of Moe still being alive, of which he is not optimistic. He told me of the density and the various vegetation growing that Moe would have at his reach. As far as water goes, there are many sources from streams, creeks and springs to keep Moe cool and hydrated in the hot weather. The most probable source of water for Moe would be Cajon Creek which runs close to the railroad tracks below the property. There was a fire to the east about ten or twelve years ago which cleared some of the dense brush however, the fire was stopped before it reached the area Moe would be in leaving it extremely dense.
The searchers have been placing bottles of water within the area in hopes that a tell tale sign of Moe finding them would be that the lids are replaced on an empty bottle. It has been suggested that bait stations be loaded with cantaloupe, sardines and other strong smelling foods to entice Moe to them, therefore leaving tracks in a more accessible area. Moe's biggest barrier in survival is the lack of a bountiful food source. There is an abundance of Hollyleaf Cherries however, they are not ripe yet and even when they are they offer very little flesh as they are mostly pit and the pit if consumed, is toxic to humans. The Wild Grapes are more ornamental than a producer of grapes. Then there is the Scrub Oak, Poison Oak, Twinberry and the list goes on with either toxic or irritating plants. There is also the danger of Mountain Lions. Moe is in dangerous territory even if he had some skills of being on his own.
Plans to use a low flying Robinson R-44 helicopter for searching the heavy brush areas again today may put an end to this story and find Moe safe or hit another dead end leaving us all with more questions and fears for the worst. Some experts think this helicopter tactic would only scare him more and keep him hiding, wherever that may be. There are many speculations as to where Moe went, how he got there and why. The biggest one is why hasn't he used the natural homing skills to return? As Mr. Hackaday said, "he could find his way back if he were blind, he isn't disoriented, things don't add up."
Why has there not been a single sighting by this time in the general area of his escape? Good question.
More about Moe, Chimp, Chimpanzee, Jungle exotics, Escape
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