“DO NOT touch the monkey!!” warned Shawsheen Animal Hospital Wednesday after a neighbor in Tewksbury first spotted the apparently rogue primate.
“Monkeys can be dangerous and can carry Herpes B Virus which can be fatal to humans!!!” the animal hospital said in an urgent alert.
Cops in Tewksbury — a town of almost 30,000 people about 20 miles from Boston — said they were alerted Monday after a local spotted the monkey in a garden next to the animal hospital grounds.
Despite using drones and ATVs to check the grounds, they “did not see any sign of the animal,” they said in an online alert of their own.
The animal hospital’s staff insisted they had not lost a monkey — and initially assumed cops were pulling their leg when they alerted them.
“We laughed. We thought they were joking,” Shawsheen’s Dr. Michele Caruso told CBS Boston of being asked if they had “lost a monkey.”
Police now plan to set up “cameras and traps” to find the wayward primate and “relocate it to a safe location.”
Cops and the animal hospital cautioned that the neighbor may have been mistaken, with the photo not proof positive it was a monkey.
“It’s definitely not a dog, it’s not a cat. It doesn’t look like a bear,” Caruso told the station. “Someone said could it be a fisher cat,” the second-largest member of the weasel family.
Either way, despite the center’s urgent warning, she insisted there was “no concern.”
“There’s wild animals that are always around us – coyotes, bears, bobcats,” Caruso told the station.
“I don’t think one monkey potentially on the loose should cause any concern to anybody. I’m more concerned for the well-being of the monkey than a human, if that makes sense,” Caruso said.