A dope-smoking monkey that was once at the centre of a drugs raid is in need of a new home.
The rare Rhesus Macaque primate, whose pet name is Nobby, was caught up a police swoop in 1997 after being photographed puffing on a hash bong at an address in Southend, Essex.
Cops were alerted to the creature's plight when technicians at Boots chemists developed a roll of film for a customer and discovered images of the monkey using a cannabis pipe and looking disorientated.
Essex Police mounted a seven-man raid on the home of Nobby's owner, vowing to get a court order to take the monkey into care.
But when officers tried to rescue the animal it turned on cops and screamed and growled, forcing the lawmen to back off.
The creature was apparently content with it's environment and unwilling to be rescued.
But animal welfare workers are now seeking a responsible keeper for Nobby after he recently found himself in need of a new owner.
At the time of the raid PC Dave Clark said: "Nobby's strong and was determined not to let anybody near him. "Even though he's castrated he's still a very dominant male. I was afraid he'd tear my arm off."
The police found no drugs at the flat. But the primate's then owners confessed that their pet had helped himself to their hash.
Nobby, whose photograph appeared in the News of the World at the time of the raid, is later believed to have been taken in by an old lady who became his new owner, and she has been looking after him until recently.
Iain Newby, at the Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility, in Little Wakering, said: "The lady who had him was moving and decided to get rid of him. She'd kept him for years behind glass, but in the wild, these monkeys roam around in troupes. They are social animals, yet Nobby had never even seen another monkey."
The exotic monkey is native to Afghanistan, India and China, but they are rarely found in captivity in the West.
Mr Newby added: ‘Since he has been here, he has had a proper leaf diet and fruit and veg. He is happy and putting on weight."
Mr Newby stressed: "These animals do not make good pets. They can seriously injure you. We are looking for a wildlife park, zoo or a private collection which can give one-to-one attention."