Alan Cumming's Chimpanzee Co-Star Tonka Found Alive, Owner Faked His Death

You may recall the bizarre story earlier this year when actor Alan Cumming offered a $10k reward for information about Tonka the Chimpanzee, his co-star in the film Buddy back in 1997. At the time, Cumming and PETA were suspicious about the whereabouts of the primate, believing that perhaps owner Tonia Haddix had been hiding him somewhere after filing a report that he had died. Now a new report from PETA reveals that was the case and that Tonka has been recovered and found alive after this entire time. According to the organization, Tonka's whereabout and status were discovered after inconsistencies from his owner didn't add up. 

"After months of searching, Tonka has finally been found and help is on the way," PETA's attorney Jared Goodman said in a statement to Rolling Stone. "He has endured nearly a year of isolation and likely needs urgent care, but if all goes well, PETA will soon arrange for him to be moved to a lush sanctuary where he'll have a chance for a real life at last."    

"During the months we filmed together, baby Tonka and I became good friends, playing and grooming each other and just generally larking about," Cumming previously 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."  

Haddix, the owner of Tonka, and PETA have been in an extensive legal battle for four years, with authorities searching their home on Thursday to locate and rescue the ape. He was reportedly found inside in an enclosure that included "a 60-inch TV" and "an interactive iPad-like touch device." 

In addition to starting in Buddy with Cumming and Rene Russo, the young chimp also appeared on the big screen in the George of the Jungle reboot with Brendan Fraiser. 

(Cover Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images