Animals

Pet monkey rescued from Chicago sent to Texas

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The nonprofit Born Free USA and Animal Care and Control announced Monday that they led an “urgent rescue mission” last month for a baby monkey kept illegally as a pet in Chicago. The primates were moved 1,300 miles from Illinois to a permanent home in the South Texas Reserve.

The primate sanctuary in Born Free USA is one of the largest in the United States and is home to hundreds of monkeys including those rescued from roadside zoos and retired from animal testing and former pets.

“Once Chicago Animal Care and Control confiscated it, it took a village to get it to us safely,” Liz Tyson, Born Free USA Program Manager and president of the shelter, said in a statement. “We are grateful to the CACC for ensuring his safe removal from his former home, to the Lincoln Park Zoo staff for providing advice and the appropriate transportation fund for him, and to Safe Humane Chicago, a generous benefactor who stepped in at the eleventh hour to pay for his trip. This rescue took the time and resources of the funded officials From the taxpayer, our nonprofit, and private citizens.All this to fix a problem created by someone who was cruelly and illegally keeping little Willis like a “pet.”

It is estimated that there are thousands of primates being kept as pets in US homes, Born Free said in a press release, although there is no concrete count yet. Born Free states that keeping primates as pets is dangerous as “stories of injuries, attacks, and escapes by pets abound.” In addition, primates also carry a range of diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including yellow fever, monkeypox, Ebola and Marburg viruses, herpes simia (herpes B), and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV, the main form of HIV). human), viral hepatitis and measles.

“CACC is always willing to go above and beyond to do what’s right for the animals in Chicago, but we are not equipped to properly care for ape,” Susan Cabello, deputy director of Animal Welfare for Chicago, said in a statement. “We are truly grateful for the quick work of the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Scott from Peaceable Primate Sanctuary in connecting us with the wonderful people at Born Free who have agreed to sponsor Willis.”


The Captive Primate Safety Act is a bill currently being considered at the federal level that would prohibit private possession of monkeys. It will also restrict direct contact between primates and members of the public.

“Despite the fact that keeping a pet monkey is illegal in Illinois, Willis’ vervet monkey has crept through the cracks,” US Representative Bobby Rush, D District 1, said in a statement. “Inadequate patchwork of government legislation regulating private primate possession makes it very easy for individuals to purchase these wild animals online and transport them across state lines. While I am grateful that Willis is now safe and in the care of an approved, legitimate sanctuary, I would have been able to This story ends quite differently—and serious pitfalls like this are unfortunately all too common. Willis’ story is exactly why I co-sponsored the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would prohibit trade and private possession of primates like Willis as pets.”

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, D-District 9, is one of the sponsors of the Captive Primate Safety Act.

“I would like to thank Born Free USA and Chicago Animal Care and Control for their efforts in bringing Willis to safety,” Schakowsky said in a statement. “As a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Group, I follow their work closely and am pleased to have them protect the interests of animals that would otherwise be at risk.”



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