Primate Estate has had a primate escape and there is a monkey on the loose on Vancouver Island.
B.C. Conservation officer Scott Norris confirmed the monkey had escaped from an animal sanctuary near Lake Cowichan over the weekend, while staff were doing some work on its enclosure. When it couldn’t be immediately found, they called the conservation service on Monday.
“It took off into the forest, across the road, hasn’t been seen since,” Norris said. “They’ve been out with traps trying to call it and catch it.”
With so many trees in the area, that’s a daunting task.
Norris said the male monkey is small and dark brown in colour, or black.
“We want to let the public know that if they see it, not to approach it, to call the conservation office,” he said. “If you see it call us immediately.”
While the risk to the public is low, unlike the case when Suzie the Bengal tiger escaped from her enclosure at the same animal sanctuary back in 2007, it’s best not to touch the animal, Norris explained.
“If somebody tries to handle it, it could bite and obviously there is the potential for disease transfer so we are asking people to leave it alone,” he said.
“At some point it may show itself if it’s hungry,” Norris added. “It may survive for a while out in the bush but we’re hoping it’ll return for food.”
Should anyone spot the missing monkey, they are to call 1-877-952-7277 and report it to the conservation office call centre.