Monkey Euthanized After Attacking Pet-Sitter - WSET.com - ABC13

Monkey Euthanized After Attacking Pet-Sitter

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Reporter: Sarah Bloom l Videographer: Nick King

Rockingham Co., NC - A pet-sitting job took a dangerous turn for a woman in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Patricia Knight volunteered to pet sit for an acquaintance's Black Cap Capuchin monkey, but while she was watching it, the monkey attacked her.

Late Tuesday, county and state health officials made the decision to euthanize Joe the monkey. They say they need to test him for rabies to best treat his victim, and to do that, he must be put down.

"You cannot take a wild animal and make it into a baby," said Patricia Knight, who was attacked by the monkey. "No matter how much it wants to be or tries to be they need to be wild and live a life like God intended them to do." Knight has visible reminders of this. The monkey, named Joe, attacked her when she went to change his water bowl.

"He ripped all the way to the bone in several places and pretty much just was mauling my hand real good," said Knight.

It left authorities to figure out what to do with him.

"Obviously we cannot go in and remove the animal because we're not trained to do so," said Rockingham County Sheriff, Sam Page.

The monkey carried risk of disease and could present a public health risk. So a deputy had to essentially monkey-sit, until arrangements were made.

"I would love to see him in the zoo or somewhere where they can rehabilitate them and let him be a monkey for a chance, for one chance in his life," said Knight. "He's never been able to be allowed to be a monkey and mate and do the things that animals are supposed to do."

Joe has bitten three people in the past. Rockingham County does have an ordinance preventing residents from owning wild animals.  

Officials say Joe's owner has been cited.

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