Oregon sheriff's deputy fatally shoots pet chimpanzee to save woman

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A deputy shot and killed an adult pet chimpanzee Sunday after it attacked a woman in Oregon, according to authorities. 

Deputies were called to a residence in Pendleton around 8 a.m. after the chimpanzee’s owner, Tamara Brogoitti, said the ape was out of its cage and had bitten her daughter in the torso, arms, and legs, according to the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office. 

Brogoitti, 68, added that her daughter, 50, was trapped inside a basement bedroom and was in need of medical assistance, the Oregonian reported. 

Authorities arrived and found the chimpanzee roaming around a fenced area outside the house. 

In order to reach and provide medical aid to the daughter, the ape was fatally shot once in the head, said Lt. Sterrin Ward. The sheriff’s office noted they received Brogoitti’s permission to shoot the chimpanzee.

After the incident, both women were taken to a local hospital in Pendleton – about 200 miles east of Portland – for treatment, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Brogoitti owned the chimpanzee, named “Buck,” for about 17 years, Ward added. 

Oregon made it illegal to own chimpanzees in 2010, but anyone who owned an ape prior to that year was authorized to keep the animal for the rest of its life, the paper reported. 

“Attacks from any privately-owned primate in captivity should be expected because these animals are not living healthy lives where they can express their natural urges and engage in natural behaviors,” said Erika Fleury, program director at the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.

In a statement, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it warned state authorities that Brogoitti “had created a ticking time bomb by engaging in direct contact with a dangerous ape.”

“Now, he is dead and a woman has been mauled because of Brogoitti’s refusal to follow experts’ advice and transfer Buck to an accredited sanctuary,” the statement added. 

Brogoitti operated the Buck Brogoitti Animal Rescue at her ranch from 2010 to early 2019, the East Oregonian reported. The nonprofit primarily housed and cared for horses the sheriff’s office seized in abuse and neglect cases.

It wasn’t clear what caused the chimpanzee to attack.

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