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Poker Pro’s Chimp Shot By Police


Nov 19, 2014
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Lee Watkinson, 46, is a top poker professional with $4,143,308 in tournament earnings to his name. Amongst the card sharp’s many accolades is victory at the 2006 WSOP $10k PLO event for $655,746, as well as an appearance at the 2007 WSOP Main Event final table, where he finished 8th for $585,699.

Back in 2008, poker pro Lee Watkinson used part of his not inconsiderable poker winnings to rescue a pair of chimpanzees that had been used for medical research. Unfortunately, last Thursday the chimps escaped from the Las Vegas resident’s home resulting in the fatal shooting of one of the animals.

Watkinson and his girlfriend, Timmi De Rosa, apparently were trying to create a sanctuary for chimpanzees and spent $100,000 of his poker winnings constructing a double-fenced enclosure in the backyard of his home in Clark Country. Last week, however, saw temperatures rise to 110-degree, which may have caused the chimps to become over active, resulting in them kicking their way past the first door before releasing the two dead bolt latches securing the second.

Apparently, Buddy and his female companion “C.J” were loose in the residential area for 30 minutes, during which time they traipsed through back yards and climbed inside vehicles, before Buddy jumped on top of a police car. The officer then saw the male chimp heading towards a gathered crowd when he took the decision to fire three shotgun blasts at the animal resulting in its death. Luckily, C.J was tranquilized by animal control officers and was returned to her enclosure before regaining consciousness.

Commenting on the tragic incident, Lee Watkinson said: “We wanted to build a sanctuary. We found them in a bad situation. People have them and play with them for five years and then someone has to come and rescue them. That’s what we tried to do. We failed.”

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