Monday, January 29, 2007

Escaped Japanese snow monkey lured into cage on Air Force base

escaped monkeyShe eluded Goldsboro and Wayne authorities for more than a month -- sneaking through neighborhoods and backyards.

But this morning, the Japanese snow monkey that made its way onto Seymour Johnson Air Force Base late last week learned that you can't escape the 4th Fighter Wing so easily.

The elusive monkey has been caught.

After escaping from its owner, Frankie Piscopo of Nahunta, in early December, she had wandered neighborhoods around Goldsboro for weeks, giving residents a glimpse now and then.

Fourth Fighter Wing Safety Director Tim Edwards said the monkey, a female, had been lured to a trap baited with fruit. Base officials had said they hoped the free meal would encourage the monkey to drop her guard and eventually grow comfortable around the trap.

Edwards said the monkey entered the trap once this morning but failed to trigger it closure. Officials then re-set the trap with a lighter trigger and when the monkey returned, the trap closed.

Base officials had considered asking the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to send an expert with a tranquilizer gun to help capture the elusive primate.

The monkey had been spotted in several areas around Goldsboro in recent weeks, with some residents getting close enough to take photographs. It was reported on the base late last week.

The base command had issued a warning to airmen and their families to avoid contact with the monkey and not to feed it.

It is still unclear what will happen to the animal now that it has been trapped.

Base officials said last week that it would either be returned to Piscopo or sent to a sanctuary.

Story here.

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