Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Woman Spots Monkey Attacker From Primate Lineup

Brooke Ross was working at the Family Food Mart in Rutherford College, N.C., on Sunday when a man walked up to the counter with a monkey on his shoulder. It hopped down onto the counter and Ross, who said she thought the 18-inch-tall animal was cute, reached to pet him.

In the blink of an eye the monkey attacked, biting her cheek just below her right eye.

"It bit the top of my eyelid and it just kind of latched onto my cheek," she said.

She said the monkey's owner helped her put a Band-Aid on her bleeding face, hastily said the animal was up-to-date on its shots and then left. He didn't leave his name.

Customers said they were shocked by the incident.

"It's crazy, it really is, to keep stuff like that in your house," one man said.

Burke County Animal Control officers spent several hours early Tuesday trying to track down the monkey. They showed Ross photographs of pets in the county and she was able to pick out the offender.

Animal Control confirmed that the monkey had been given all its required shots. It had not received a rabies shot, but officers told her they don't think that's a problem because the animal never really went outdoors.

Ross is taking a round of antibiotics after the attack and said she plans to stay away from monkeys from now on.

"I really don't like any kind of animal right now," Ross said.

Monkeys can carry rabies, measles, tuberculosis, salmonella and a potentially fatal form of herpes.

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