Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fugitive monkey retires to Florida.

From NY Daily News:
The fugitive monkey that went on the lam after biting a Queens woman's face is living out his final days in a Florida home for wayward monkeys.

Benjamin the cantankerous capuchin turned up at Jungle Friends habitat in Gainesville, Fla., weeks after he bit Parvin Hajihossini while she was snapping his picture during a July stay at a Catskill, N.Y., resort.

Recent tests showed the 17-year-old monkey has cancer and a few months to live, said Jungle Friends owner Kari Bagnall.

Bagnall says Benjamin's owner, renowned painter Allen Hirsch, stayed with him at the 12-acre sanctuary for several weeks before leaving for Venezuela last month. At the time, Greene County, N.Y., health officials were hunting for Benjamin to check him for rabies - a test that requires the animal be euthanized so the brain can be dissected.

Bagnall said this isn't Benjamin's first stay at the habitat: Hirsch brought him there several years ago after he attacked someone else, she said.

"They're not pets," she said. "They're wild animals.... It's not a matter of if they'll bite, it's when. I don't know of any monkeys that don't bite."

Benjamin spends his days alone in a cage, surrounded by 120 other rescued monkeys in cages.

Most are ex-pets banished from homes after attacking humans -or retired research monkeys.

Hajihossini, 53, is suing Hirsch in Queens Supreme Court to recover damages for her injuries.

A scar that snakes down her left cheek left her so disfigured that she hasn't returned to work as a hairdresser.

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