Safe haven: Monkeys sent to sanctuary in Texas

Sunday, August 7, 2011
A representative of Animal Rescue Corps carries a monkey to safety as another ARC worker closes the cage in which it was confined. The cages violated state laws, according to the ARC. (Animal Rescue Corps photo)

Four monkeys removed from a Frank Martin Road residence are being given a new home in Texas.

Primarily Primates, a non-profit group near San Antonio, said Friday it will take in the monkeys. The animal sanctuary "operates to house, protect, and rehabilitate various non-native animals," according to its website.

Four monkeys were removed from an outbuilding behind the home of Ricky and Wanda Smith on Thursday night after another monkey escaped and bit two people earlier in the day. That monkey was shot to death during an attack on a sheriff's deputy.

Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit agency based in Washington, D.C., took the animals in partnership with Ady Gil World Conservation.

"When responders arrived at the scene they found one Java macaque in a birdcage and one Java macaque in a wire dog crate with 6 square feet of floor space.," a representative of the group said in a press release.

"They also found two Rhesus macaques in two approximately 6-foot-high pens with 25 square feet of floor space."

ARC representatives said the conditions under which the monkeys were kept violate state laws.

"The cages were inadequate in terms of safe containment and quality of life and in violation of Tennessee animal cruelty laws," the ARC press release said.

"The monkeys had no form of enrichment and no access to food or water," ARC President Scotlund Haisley said. "The social, emotional and physical toll this has taken on them is obvious."

The monkeys were taken to a holding area at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville. Veterinarians were to examine the monkeys and provide any needed treatment before transfer to Texas, the ARC said.

The animal rescue groups came following a request by Brenda Goodrich, director of Bedford County Animal Control.

Goodrich said she contacted PetSmart Charities for help. The group, which connected BCAC and ARC, has also helped relocate dogs from Bedford County to northern areas.

Thursday's monkey bite victims continue to recover.

Michelle Pyrdum, who leg was bitten as she was cleaning her truck outside her Frank Martin Road home, was told by a doctor Friday that rabies tests were negative.

Cpl. Ronnie Gault is back on patrol after treatment for several wounds inflicted to his left arm as he attempted to subdue the monkey.