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The story of Scatter, Elvis Presley's booze-swilling pet chimpanzee


When you’re Elvis Presley, and you’re the most famous rock star on the planet, the world suddenly becomes your oyster. Want to buy a gigantic mansion in Memphis? Go for it. Want to have sleepovers and pillow fights with underage girls? That’s awful, but who was going to tell him no? Want to eat cardiac arrest-inducing sandwiches? That’s your prerogative.

Also on that list of ridiculous “why not’s” includes buying a chimpanzee. You see, one of Elvis’ original intentions was to turn Graceland into a zoo. Of course, you can’t have a zoo without animals, and Elvis reportedly bought his first animal, a spider monkey named Jayhew, in 1956. He followed that by purchasing a chimpanzee, which he named Scatter.

Scatter was a bit of a mischief-maker. Elvis would bring the chimp to his film sets, where Scatter would tear apart dressing rooms and cause mayhem for the production supervisors who had to tend to his messes. Scatter also had a penchant for alcohol, reportedly swilling whiskey when unattended (how he managed to get whiskey is anyone’s guess).

Scatter would then turn into a facsimile of ‘The King’ by blundering around and pulling up women’s skirts. The chimp would allegedly even masturbate in public with booze in his system. It all came to a grisly end when a maid allegedly poisoned the chimp in retaliation for a violent bite.

This information is all courtesy of self-proclaimed Elvis super fan Eddie Deezen, who you might recognise from his various “nerd” roles in Grease and 1941. Deezen also ran an infamously impossible Beatles trivia quiz full of information that no one could verify nor correctly deduce, so take it all with a grain of salt. Deezen was also recently arrested in my home state of Maryland for resisting arrest after refusing to leave a restaurant, so that’s fun.

Is any of this real? Maybe. Is it fascinating to think of Elvis as the owner of an alcoholic chimp who was so insane that he was poisoned by one of Elvis’ employees? Absolutely.