Monkey who bit at least 1 in Sanford neighborhood to be placed in refuge

Owner says animal became too large, strong for cage

SANFORD, Fla. - A pet monkey who escaped from its cage and bit at least one person in a Sanford neighborhood finally returned home Sunday night.

Sanford police called off the search for the monkey around 6 p.m., but a short while later the monkey came out of hiding when it heard the engine of its owner's truck.

The 4-year-old pigtail macaque is named Zeke, according to its owner Jeff Jaques, who said he has owned the monkey since it was 2 months old.

Police first received a call around 2 p.m. Sunday about a monkey bite at 325 Live Oak Blvd.

Sanford police, along with Seminole County Animal Services and the Fish and Wildlife Commission, searched for the monkey for hours.

Witnesses told Local 6 that the monkey bit two people and was running around the neighborhood. Sanford police confirmed one person was bitten or scratched, and had minor injuries.

Police said the owner does have a license to keep the animal but may face fines related to the escape.

Zeke will be re-released from Sanford animal control services and be placed into a secure refuge, according to Sanford police. Police said the owner is "heartbroken" but knows it is best for the monkey to live its natural life without affecting humans.

Police reopened the neighborhood after roping it off Sunday afternoon.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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