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Possible Howler Monkey On Loose In Columbus

Flickr: Albuquerque BioPark
Howler Monkey

Police and agricultural officials are searching for a monkey on the loose on the north east side of Columbus.

Minerva Park Police say an officer spotted what was thought to be a howler monkey sitting on a fence Thursday morning.  

Ohio Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Erica Hawkins said staff are assisting with baiting and potential capture with tranquilizers. 

“They have training on dosages to safely put the animals to sleep so they can be loaded and secured and transferred and come up out of that. So that would be the primary use and then I think they were trying to do a little bit of baiting and whatnot," she said. 

Hawkins said the police should be notified if the monkey is spotted. She added no one should approach it.

“They might look kind of cute and adorable, but realistically these animals can be very aggressive especially if they’re in a situation that they’re uncomfortable with.”

Hawkins said the department receives a few calls a year related to a wild animal spottings.

“In the end, there’s rarely evidence that’s found of the animal. But folks have seen, or thought they’ve seen, you know mountain lions and alligators," she said. 

Officials say no one has reported a missing monkey. A recent state law prohibits exotic pets, including monkeys. People who owned exotic pets prior to the law must have permits for them.