Monday, March 03, 2008

Monkey Escapes Owner, Bites Three

monkey escapes bites threeSpokane health and animal control officials have quarantined a pet monkey that bit three people after escaping from its owner's South Hill home.

Arron Trujillo was walking his dog with his friends along 16th Avenue Thursday afternoon when the monkey chased them down the street.

"At first I thought it was cute ... until it growled," said Grey Pressentin.

One of Trujillo's friends tripped, which is when the monkey bit him on the thumb.

Trujillo ran home and told his mother what happened.

Dorothy Trujillo thought her son was making the story up. She got in her van and drove around the neighborhood.

She spotted the monkey going in and out of the front door of a home.

"The monkey looked like he was going back in the house but he came and charged at me and grabbed my leg and bit it," she said.

The monkey also bit a teenage girl who lives in the neighborhood before animal control officers could get there and catch it.

The people who own the monkey said it found a way to escape the house while they were gone. The family said they've owned the monkey for five years and recently moved to Spokane, which does not allow monkeys as pets.

"We're still in the investigation as to what we're going to do because we haven't had a monkey ordeal like this before," said animal control officer Bryan Townsend.

Townsend said the 15-pound macaque monkey will be kept at Spokanimal while health officials investigate whether the humans were exposed to any diseases.

State Department of Health epidemiologist Rebecca Baer said there is a risk of bacterial infections and a small risk of rabies, for which there is no approved vaccine.

Story here.

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