Monday, July 03, 2006

Monkey On Run In Virginia After Zoo Escape

A Virginia zoo official said he hopes an escaped monkey is getting hungry -- and will be easier to catch.

Zoo workers are trying to find a Japanese macaque that escaped Saturday from the Mill Mountain Zoo. They said the female monkey may be looking for some breakfast after spending the night in the woods.

The 20-pound furry, light brown monkey is named Oops because the other monkeys at the zoo weren't supposed to reproduce.

The education curator at the zoo said he thinks she is staying in a nearby forest so she can be in earshot of her family in the zoo. The official said searchers heard the monkey all day Saturday as they searched the forest.

Oops escaped when the animals were being moved from their holding cells to the exhibit to be fed and cleaned.

Zoo education curator David Jobe said he is not sure how it happened -- either someone made a mistake "or a piece of equipment malfunctioned."

Oops is 11 years old and the youngest of four so-called snow monkeys at the zoo.

Jobe said this is Oops' first trip out of the zoo, and the first animal to escape the zoo's grounds in its 55-year history. Workers don't think she'll wander too far from her family.

Story here.

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