Law enforcement authorities said they had NO CHOICE but to KILL after rampaging chimpanzees went berserk, terrorizing Las Vegas in a cavalcade of destruction.

The chimps had escapes from a backyard enclosure in a Las Vegas neighborhood and went howling through the neighborhood – viciously pounding cars and leaping into vehicles in an orgy of animal terror.

The agitated animals escaped about 10 a.m. and leapt through landscaped lawns, opening car doors and shrieking their displeasure at humanity in a laidback community of horse pens, palm trees and tile-roofed homes.

Witness David Plunkett told police he saw the male chimp leap on top of a police car – with its lights on and an officer inside – before the animal dove to the pavement, racing into a nearby vacant lot.

"We tried to establish a perimeter until the experts arrived," Officer Marcus Martin said. "But… they couldn't get there in time."

Martin said police were called in at 10:13 a.m. Local residents were warned via Twitter to stay indoors and to avoid the area where the "dangerous" primates roamed free.

Police officers tried to corral the pissed off primates to await animal control officials, but as a crowd gathered, the male chimp – ever protective – turned his gaze toward them.

 A veteran officer blasted the chimp with three rounds from a shotgun, killing him at 10:45 a.m. The officer's name wasn't immediately made public for fear of reprisals from animal rights activists.

“The officer knew they were dangerous animals and he was the last line of defense with citizens behind him," Officer Martin said.

The female was tranquilized.