Manic Monkey Rampage

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 3:03pm

Angry pet monkey holds family hostage in basement.

Police, paramedics and animal control all responded to an unusual hostage situation in Hamilton County, Indiana on Wednesday.

The 911 call described an intruder in a house...not a person, but a 40-pound primate.

The 7-year-old Patas monkey named Eujo escaped from its cage Wednesday morning.

For 20 minutes the wild animal, native to Africa, ran loose, terrifying the six people at home with him.

Owner Bobbi Phelan said a lock somehow gave way on his cage.

"He ran out of his cage, ran over the top of everybody," she said. "Naturally, the first thing on my mind was run in and get everybody secure."

Phelan's son Cody said this included locking the door and barricading it because the monkey can probably knock down the door.

The monkey scratched a 15-year-old and bit the ear of the family dog before Phelan could get him back in the cage.

"I coaxed him out here just by moving his door and then I put the door down," she said. "He's secure."

The family said that in seven years Eujo has never escaped before.

In fact, they spent about $35,000 creating a cage system.

Now they're planning even more precautions.

"It's time to recheck and re-secure, because obviously this can't happen again," Phelan said.

The family has had a "hands-off" policy for Eujo the past four years.

They say he can be dangerous.

Because of the escape, police say a judge could label him a vicious animal.

That would mean the owners can keep him, but they'll be monitored on safety standards to make sure the monkey is secure.

Phelan said Eujo is not a threat and that the pet primate will stay.

"I didn't give birth to him, but he is my son," she said. "We have him here because he is part of the family."
 

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