Alan Cumming offers $10k reward for information regarding missing chimpanzee co-star

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Alan Cumming offers $10k reward for information regarding missing chimpanzee co-star
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Alan Cumming has offered a $10,000 (£8,000) reward for information regarding Tonka, the missing chimpanzee who starred alongside him in the 1997 comedy Buddy.

The series featured Cumming, alongside Robbie Coltrane and Rene Russo, and was about a couple who adopt and raise Buddy, a feeble young gorilla.

Tonka was last seen caged at Missouri Primate Foundation, a now inoperative chimpanzee breeding facility that rented the primates out for movies and parties or sold them to private owners.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has also included a matching reward for information, bringing the full amount to $20,000 (£16,000).

“During the months we filmed together, baby Tonka and I became good friends, playing and grooming each other and just generally larking about,” Cumming said in a statement to Variety.

It’s horrible to think he might in a cage in a dark basement somewhere or have met some other fate, so I’m appealing to whoever knows what has become of him to please come forward claim the reward,” The Good Wife actor continued.

Originally, Peta had sued the Missouri breeding facility over the chimpanzee’s “filthy, virtually barren” living conditions.

Alan Cumming and chimpanzee (Getty Images)
Alan Cumming and chimpanzee (Getty Images)

After receiving permission to move Tonka and six other chimpanzees to a sanctuary, the animal rights group found Tonka was missing when they went to make the transfer in July 2021.

Peta claimed: “Owner Tonia Haddix claimed that [Tonka] had ‘died’, but told various stories that didn’t add up and failed to prove that this was the case. She had previously stated that Peta would never get him.

“In January, a judge found that mystery surrounds the primate’s disappearance and that Haddix’s testimony was not credible, leaving Peta and Cumming to try to determine his whereabouts or perhaps his final resting place.”

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