Friday, May 23, 2008

NASCAR Driver Gives Pet Monkey To Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo has added Mojo, a 3-year-old patas monkey previously owned by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and friend Krista Dwyer.

When Stewart and Dwyer noticed that Mojo was maturing and becoming aggressive, they sought help from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which recommended the Louisville Zoo, said zoo spokeswoman Kara Bussabarger.

Bussabarger said the association was aware that the Louisville zoo already had three female patas monkeys, and was looking for a male. She said a check of Mojo's genetics showed he's a good potential mate for Louisville's monkeys.

In prepared statements, Stewart and Dwyer said they were doing what they thought was right for the patas monkey, a species that comes from Africa and is known for its running speed. It is also considered to be threatened in its native habitat.

"I know Mojo is in terrific hands," said Stewart, 37, of Columbus, Ind.

"We want Mojo to be happy and live a good life," Dwyer said, adding that she wants "people to know that primates and wild animals don't make good pets."

Louisville Zoo Gorilla Forest supervisor Roby Elsner said Mojo will get to "experience a social life typical for his species, and the zoo association's North American captive population of patas monkeys -- which needs to grow -- is increased by one."

The monkey will be on exhibit for the first time today.

Story here.

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