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Officials warn not to be curious about this monkey

May 17, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

LEETOWN, W.Va. - It was the butt of jokes Wednesday, but it was no laughing matter for county animal control officers looking for a monkey in the Leetown area of Jefferson County, W.Va.

Animal control officers began looking for the monkey after officials received a call Tuesday that a monkey had been spotted near the intersection of Paynes Ford Road and Bower Road, said J. Ebersole of the Jefferson County Animal Control office.

Someone saw the monkey drinking from a pond about 11 a.m., Ebersole said.

The black monkey, which possibly had a white face, then ran into some woods, Ebersole said.

Dispatchers said the monkey is about 3 feet tall.

A monkey can pose a dangerous situation because the animals can carry diseases like hepatitis, Ebersole said.

And they can bite, Ebersole said.

"Monkeys are not always nice like in the pictures and cartoons," Ebersole said.

Ebersole said the Jefferson County Health Department wants to capture the monkey because of possible diseases it could be carrying.

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It is unclear whether the monkey might have escaped from a house or a medical testing facility, Ebersole said.

Anyone who sees the animal is being asked to call Jefferson County Animal Control at 304-728-3289. After 6 p.m., calls should be directed to the county's 911 center at 304-725-8484, Ebersole said.

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