In the late 70’s, I visited “Monkey Jungle” near Miami, Florida. I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. I got no pleasure walking among all those “free” monkeys, and I couldn’t wait to leave. I realized then that I have a fear of monkeys. Come on. Who is afraid of monkeys?
When I was very young, my mom had couple friends with a pet monkey. He ran loose in their house, was nasty with his solid body waste, and seemed to be everywhere at once. When we’d visit, I’d spend my time outside. Around that same period in my life, I watched, on the big screen, the flying monkeys of the Wicked Withc of the West in Oz capture and threaten Dorothy.
Their in-your-face behavior seemed to me to be a common characteristic of monkeys in general, and I failed to see a cuteness in that primate.
Fast forward to the last ten days here in my town. Of all things…a sixteen year-old breeding female monkey, of no given name, escaped through two barriers of her research lab, and was on the loose, running wild and free, right here in my city. That she was spotted no where near my neighborhood gave me no peace at night.
There were many sightings, and the daily news coverage, both newspaper and television, reported various unsuccessful attempts at capture with tranquilizing darts. Recordings of baby monkey noises were played to lure her into view. It must have been a guy who thought that one up. Hello…she was a breeder for sixteen years. She was running away from the kid thing! (Refer to comment above regarding escape through two barriers!)
Poor girl, she was finally, humanely captured, and my nephew, who adores monkeys, resembles Curious George, and whose nickname is ironically for me, “Monkey,” was greatly relieved. Me, too, for different reasons. But I feel for her. I don’t blame her for escaping, running free, and I just hope she gets to retire and live in peace. A little like me.