Danville monkey losing race to avoid chilly fate
carrie at stayfreemagazine.org
Sun Nov 11 14:00:55 EST 2001
Copyright 2001 Union Leader Corp.
The Union Leader (Manchester NH)
November 06, 2001 Tuesday ALL EDITIONS
SECTION: SECTION A Pg. 1
LENGTH: 691 words
HEADLINE: Danville monkey losing race to avoid chilly fate
BYLINE: JASON SCHREIBER Union Leader Correspondent
DANVILLE -- Authorities are trying to find someone trained in the use
of a tranquilizer gun willing to hang out in the woods for a day in
one final attempt to capture an elusive monkey.
Animal control officer Denise Laratonda made the plea yesterday,
saying time is running out for the Capuchin monkey first sighted in
the woods last August. The monkey's owner has never come forward.
Several tranquilizer gun owners had offered to help, telling
searchers to call them as soon as the monkey is spotted. The problem
is that the monkey would most likely be gone by the time someone
arrives to tranquilize it, Laratonda said. "Within a five-minute span
he could be gone. We need someone willing to spend a whole day doing
it. We need to find someone who is as committed as we are who will
sit out there with us," Laratonda said. Laratonda and another
searcher saw the monkey in the trees just a few days ago in the same
wooded area where he's been hiding out for the last several
weeks. "He only lets you within 25 feet of him and then he's
straight up a tree and gone," she said.
The state Fish and Game Department has individuals trained in the use
of tranquilizer guns, but spokesman Eric Aldrich said yesterday he is
not sure how a monkey hunt would rank in terms of the department's
Involving Fish and Game officials "would require a significant amount
of manpower," Aldrich said, adding, "I know time's running out for
the monkey, but we've got other species that need a lot of work."
Laratonda said the Danville Police Department contacted the Fish and
Game Department when the search for the monkey began, but was told
the department didn't want to get involved. That has left Laratonda
to coordinate the monkey search on the local level. She is asking
anyone with a tranquilizer gun who is trained to use it to contact
her through Rockingham County Dispatch, 679-2225.
There is growing concern that cold weather will kill the monkey if
he's not found soon. The primate has already become less
active. "He's slowing down and staying still a lot more," Laratonda
Searchers refuse to give up, but Laratonda said she believes the
monkey will only survive another two weeks outdoors.
Several residents who have seen the animal scurrying around their
neighborhood or heard him hooting in the trees said they have little
hope the wild animal, which hails from the forests of Central and
South America, will survive.
At one point the monkey was seen hanging out in the woods behind
Sheila Lemieux's Spruce Road home, but she hasn't seen him lately.
"I'm hoping he just moved on, but I don't think it looks good for
him," she said. "I was hoping they caught him and just didn't tell
Lemieux's 10-year-old son, Seth, recently asked if the monkey had
been caught. Lemieux said she told him she thought it had been found
because she didn't want to tell her son the animal could die out in
Paul Bernard, who also lives in the Spruce Road neighborhood, feels
the animal will not make it now that colder weather has set in.
"It's getting a little too chilly for us, never mind the monkey. I
don't hold too many hopes for him. They should have been able to get
him by now," he said.
Searchers have gone to great lengths to catch the animal. They've
baited trees with bananas and oranges and even brought a female
monkey in hopes her mating calls would attract him. Even a disc
jockey from the Nashua-based radio station, WHOB, 106.3 FM, attempted
to catch the monkey by wearing a gorilla costume and visiting the
wooded area where the monkey is believed to hide.
A special trap also has proven ineffective. The monkey has been
taking the food -- marshmallow fluff and Reese's peanut butter cups
-- placed outside the trap, but has refused to grab the bait
inside. "He goes around it, above it, or underneath it. He won't go
in the trap at all," said Laratonda, who along with an eight-member
search team checks the trap six times a day.
More information about the Monkeywire