POSTED: Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 8:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Sanford, Florida man says he will give his pet monkey to an animal preserve after it escaped over the weekend.
Zeke, a Rhesus monkey, bit or scratched a man Sunday afternoon in the Hidden Lakes Subdivision.
The injury barely broke the man's skin, and he did not require a trip to a hospital.
"When you have wild animals running around in a regular neighborhood, it's a recipe for disaster," said Sanford Police Lt. James McAuliffe.
Police and agents from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up a perimeter in the area to try to corral the monkey and keep people away from it.
Neighborhood residents were told to stay inside.
Authorities said the monkey untwisted some wire ties that secured its cage.
The monkey fled into the woods and was not seen until Sunday when his owner, Jeff Jacques, came home and went searching for him.
Officials said Zeke heard his master's voice and came to him.
Jacques said because Zeke was able to get his backyard cage open the animal is now inside the house, but because he is getting too big and too crafty will soon be relocated to an animal preserve.
Neighbors said they are happy about the news.
"There are a lot of kids around here, you never know what a monkey might do to a child," said Jerry Bruessel.
"It's a social animal. It's kind of cruel in my mind to keep wild animals away from other animals that live in social packs," said McAuliffe.
The FWC is still investigating the incident.
Wildlife officials investigated a previous escape by Zeke that occurred about seven months ago.
The FWC issued Jacques a citation and a warning for that escape.