Thursday, September 16, 2010

W.C. Fields Captured!

The monkey that's been running around San Antonio's north side has been caught.

Known as W.C. Fields, he had escaped from a primate preserve for about a week, but personnel caught him Wednesday on Boerne Stage Road, hanging out at a nearby Concept Therapy Institute-- a campus designed to teach people stress remedies.
They spotted him in some trees along the roadway.

"He was just perched on a fence, looking around and he saw me," said Stephan Tello, Executive Director for Primarily Primates.

Tello followed him to the therapeutic campus, where employees there offered their help. Others would video-tape the monkey with their cell phones.

"We have a lot of excitement here, and that's unusual because we teach stress management and behavior modification," said Warren McKenney, who operates Concept Therapy.

Tello and his crew used grapes and bananas as bait to get close to W.C.

When that didn't work, they used Deanna Strobel. W.C. exhibited some excited behavior when she was around, and his handlers wanted to use that to their advantage in capturing the monkey.

"He sounded angry. They said something about being an un-submissive female. I was clapping my hands and striking my knees and making monkey gestures," said Strobel.

Strobel's antics helped prod the animal along, and the handlers said W.C. followed the trail of grapes into the center's banquet hall where he received a mild tranquilizer dart.

He’ll stay in a small cage adjoining the enclosure until tomorrow morning, allowing time for the tranquilizer to wear off. Handlers said it isn’t wise to re-introduce him into the larger enclosure until he’s had time to get reacquainted with the spider monkeys who reside there.

Full story here.

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