I’ve always been fascinated by out of place animal stories. There’s just something so subtly unsettling about them. Because ultimately, they can’t all just be escaped circus animals or exotic pets. When I was 5 years old, there was a report of a baby elephant seen in my neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Nothing ever came of it (i.e., no elephant was ever found), but it’s interesting to think of an animal like that being seen in New York City. And speaking of New York City, I also grew up hearing the urban legend of alligators in the sewers, which actually has some truth to it. But one really can’t study cryptozoology or stories of unexplained mysteries without coming across bizarre tales of out of place animals – kangaroos, big cats, even monkeys & apes. It seems as though this week, Massachusetts is dealing with a strange monkey sighting in the town of Tewksbury.
A monkey is on the loose in Massachusetts, authorities have warned – sparking a major hunt with ATVs and drones.
“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.
Of course, this could just be a misidentification, an escaped pet or test animal, or even an outright hoax. People get fleeting glimpses of strange animals, and can easily mistake it for something else. As mentioned in the article, there’s other big wildlife in the area, including bears, coyotes, and bobcats. Alternately, maybe it is just a hoax, dreamed up by someone who has been in quarantine for a bit too long. What do you think is roaming the town?