Friday, September 19, 2008

Monkey Escapes Exotic Animal Sanctuary Despite Being Shot With Tranquilizer

police chase monkeyJulian is still on the loose.

But the macaque monkey, missing from Bergeron's Exotic Animal Sanctuary, may be dopey and in a field off County Road 5 in Prince Edward County.

Thursday morning, animal control workers nearly captured the animal when he was spotted the animal around the goat pen at the sanctuary, by the border of Hallowell and Sophiasburgh wards.

Sanctuary owner Joe Bergeron said the monkey had made a habit of stealing corn from the goat's pen for a couple of days now, so it was the perfect spot for sting operation.

"I've noticed he's come around two or three days in a row," Bergeron recalled.

County canine officers responded just after 9 a. m. and hit him with a tranquilizer gun.

But the monkey still got away.

"I'm sure the drug knocked him right out and he'll probably be groggy most of the night."

However, the drug's short-term effects will probably wear off by this morning, Bergeron said.

"So he'll be up and at it again."

Garry Davis, the county's chief building and bylaw enforcement officer said his staff, along with OPP and animal control workers brought in from the Durham region, spent the bulk of the day searching for the Julian, to no avail.

Two OPP vehicles were parked in a lot beside a home at 994 County Road 5 Thursday afternoon, along with a Prince Edward County canine/bylaw van.

Officials there declined to speak an Intelligencer reporter, shortly before pulling away at about 3 p. m.

And so the search for Julian continues.

Davis said he has no idea whether the monkey is alert or unconscious.

But he said officials used twice the dosage as when they tranquilized Julian, following a separate escape in May 2007.

On that day, Julian did not go unconscious but went into a woozy enough state that they were able to capture him and return him to the sanctuary.

"A year ago we couldn't get a real good determination on a dose to give it," Davis said. "We cautioned on the low side and it didn't do a very good job, but we were successful in gaining it."

He said all officials can do is keep their eye open for Julian and hope the public will let them know if they see him.

"We'll just do due diligence." Bergeron, meanwhile, said his animal -- which has been on the loose for close to a week -- doesn't mean anyone harm.

"He's not a vicious animal -- he's a scared animal right now. I'm sure we'll get him ... it may take time, but we'll get him."

Story here.

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