A small monkey that had caused chaos in Paphos over the past few days has been found and returned safe and sound to her owner.
Mariou, as she was christened by her owners, was spotted on Wednesday morning wandering a wooded area near the Ayios Neophytos Lyceum and later immobilised by a team from the Veterinary Services.
“Members of the public contacted us and told us that they had seen the monkey wandering in that area,” said Regional veterinary official of the Veterinary Services in Paphos, Andreas Kyrazis yesterday.
At the same time, the exotic pet’s owners were also found. They had imported her from Lebanon around three years ago.
Little Mariou had found refuge in the forest, which is only a small distance from her home.
There are dense plantations and many gardens in the area, where the little ape found food and water.
“We sent a team out to find the monkey, who located her and tried to trap her with a net,” Kyrazis explained. But the monkey was difficult to catch and, after she climbed up a tree, the men were ordered to use a tranquiliser gun.
The ape fell out of the tree and the veterinary services caught her.
“We notified the monkey’s owner, who came and picked her up.”
Owners Sylvia Sophocleous and her husband said they were delighted to be reunited with their monkey, which they bought in Lebanon as a playmate for their children.
The family own another monkey, but said they were afraid of contacting the authorities when Mariou went missing, because they weren’t licensed to keep the animals. They also claimed that somebody had tried kidnapping Mariou and that was how she managed to escape and wander the streets of Paphos.