Friday, December 08, 2006

Monkey on the loose in Goldsboro

goldsboro monkey looseFrankie Piscopo's pet monkey has been on quite an adventure for the last week.

After running away from her home in Nahunta to mourn the death of her mate, the monkey showed up all over the countryside -- even as far away as Goldsboro.

As Piscopo searched for his friend, the primate was busy putting on a show for the clients who live at the Magnolia House for people who have disabilities and go to school at the Vocational Rehab Center. They named her Maggie.

After they were done feeding her, the 38 clients left the dorm for school.

She strolled through the back yard in the silence.

Every so often, staff members would gravitate to the dining room where they first spotted her. Each time she showed up, they would run for the back door to snap photos out the window. They had to take pictures, they said. Nobody believed them when they first started talking about the monkey.

Residential Manager Charlotte Wooten said the staff members spotted Maggie Monday.

"We've been excited. I was excited all day yesterday, especially after I got some really good pictures," she said. "We've all been walking around three days with cameras in our pockets."

Ms. Wooten said she called Animal Control, and when the officer showed up Wednesday, so did Piscopo. They set a trap and placed some fruit inside.

Maggie entered a short way and reached for the fruit. But this monkey wasn't going to be fooled. Before the door could swing shut, she ran away.

The trap has been readjusted, but as of this morning, she had still not been caught.

Ms. Wooten said she went outside to take some pictures of Maggie Wednesday, but when the monkey turned and looked at her, they both ran.

But Piscopo said the monkey is harmless. When he got her -- and her male counterpart -- five years ago from a man in Snow Hill he was told they were "snomacats."

He learned about how far his monkey had traveled Wednesday when somebody called and told him she had been spotted in the vicinity of Magnolia Place. When the staff members asked him what her proper diet was, he told them she would eat anything they eat.

Piscopo said he had not named the monkeys. He said the male that died recently was more tame than the female.

"She was a little shy."

Story here.

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