Primate Estate has had a primate escape and there is a monkey on the loose somewhere around Lake Cowichan.
B.C. Conservation officer Scott Norris confirmed the monkey had escaped from the property at 7300 Lake Cowichan Rd. over the weekend while staff at the animal sanctuary were doing some work on its enclosure. When it couldn’t be immediately found, they called the conservation service on Monday.
“It took off into the forest, across the road, hasn’t been seen since,” Norris said. “They’ve been out with traps trying to call it and catch it.”
With so many trees in the area, that’s a daunting task.
Norris said the male monkey is small and dark brown or black.
“We want to let the public know that if they see it, not to approach it, to call the conservation office,” he said. “If you see it call us immediately.”
While the risk to the public is low, unlike the case when Suzie the Bengal tiger escaped from her enclosure at the same animal sanctuary back in 2007, it’s best not to touch the animal, Norris explained.
“If somebody tries to handle it, it could bite and obviously there is the potential for disease transfer so we are asking people to leave it alone,” he said.
“At some point it may show itself if it’s hungry,” Norris added. “It may survive for a while out in the bush but we’re hoping it’ll return for food.”
Should citizens spot the monkey in their travels, they are to call 1-877-952-7277 and report it to the conservation office call centre.