Alan Cumming Offering $10,000 Reward for Any Info on Missing Chimpanzee Co-Star (EXCLUSIVE)

Alan Cumming is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information about Tonka, the missing chimpanzee who starred with him and Rene Russo in the 1997 family comedy “Buddy.” Tonka was last seen in a cage at the now-defunct chimpanzee breeding facility Missouri Primate Foundation in Festus, Mo. Chimpanzees were bred at the location and then rented out for movies and parties or sold to private owners. PETA has put up its own $10,000 reward for information about Tonka’s whereabouts, bringing the total reward to $20,000.

“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. “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.”

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PETA originally sued the Missouri Primate Foundation over the chimpanzee’s living conditions, noting the animals “had been warehoused in often filthy, virtually barren enclosures.” The animal rights group got permission to move Tonka and six other chimpanzees to an accredited sanctuary, but Tonka was missing when PETA arrived to make the transfer in July 2021.

According to PETA: “Owner Tonya 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.”

“If you know where Cumming’s former co-star may have been shipped, sold or hidden away, PETA wants to hear from you,” PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet said. “If he’s still alive, Tonka deserves to live out the rest of his days surrounded by chimpanzee friends at a lush sanctuary, as ordered by the court, and someone out there might be able to help PETA get him there.”

Written and directed by Caroline Thompson (based on a story from Thompson and author William Joyce), “Buddy” stars Russo as animal lover and millionaire who decides to bring home a gorilla named Buddy to live in her home and among her family. The film also starred “Harry Potter” actor Robbie Coltrane.

Anyone with pertinent information should call PETA at 757-622-PETA or submit their tips at PETA.org/Tonka.

BUDDY, Rene Russo, 1997, monkey on her back - Credit: ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

BUDDY, Rene Russo, 1997, monkey on her back – Credit: ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

BUDDY, Alan Cumming - Credit: ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

BUDDY, Alan Cumming – Credit: ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

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