Town tormented by monkey who keeps attacking women – and cops can do nothing

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Church Hill is a small town in Tennessee with a population of around 6,500 people and one very angry monkey.

Residents have been complaining for some time of regular monkey attacks – most recently on Thursday, October 15 when a woman told police that her neighbour’s pet monkey had jumped on her and tried to bite her while she was getting out of her car.

She claimed that the primate had jumped onto her car during the unprovoked attack and a deputy noted handprints on the vehicle “that seemed consistent with a monkey.”

One of her neighbours told police that in a previous incident she had been menaced by a monkey and when she tried to shoo it away with a stick the monkey “took the stick away from her,” before jumping onto her car and then racing back to its owner’s house.

The woman told the investigating deputy that she had later heard the monkey’s owner telling it off.

"I spoke to other residents in the neighbourhood and they have stated this has been an ongoing issue for quite some time," the deputy reported.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office said it had been liaising with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency [TWRA] to post an alert of a “monkey at large”.

But the TWRA’s Matt Cameron said that the state’s comparatively lax ownership laws meant it was legal to own many types of primate.

"Unless it is a gorilla, orang-utan, chimpanzee, gibbon, siamang, mandrill, drill, baboon, or Gelada baboon, it is not prohibited to be possessed by a member of the public and we would not regulate," he told NBC.

"The species I listed can only be possessed by permitted zoos, circuses and commercial propagators."

The state’s relaxed attitude to animal ownership has resulted in some serious incidents in the past. In 2011 a pet macaque that had run away from its owner bit a sizeable chunk out of a a woman’s leg, and attacked several police officers before they shot it to death.

Later that same year, depressed private zoo owner Terry Thompson released all of his animals in a built up area before takin his own life.

The subsequent police response ended in the deaths of 18 tigers, 17 lions, eight bears, three cougars, two wolves, one baboon, and one macaque.

  • Animals
  • Monkeys

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