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San Antonio News

San Antonio Investigates Monkey Bite Incident, Illegal Primate Ownership Raises Concerns

San Antonio Animal Care Services (SAACS) is  investigating an incident involving a monkey that bit an 11-year-old child. The incident occurred during a family gathering at the child's mother's home on Saturday, April 13th. The family promptly sought medical attention for the child's bite, which was reported to SAACS on April 15th.

The monkey involved is a Vervet, a medium to large-sized monkey with grey fur and dark faces, native to Southeastern Africa. Vervets typically live in groups called troops and have a detailed social hierarchy. They are omnivores and can live up to 30 years. Like other non-human primates, Vervet monkeys are capable of biting, which poses a risk of transmitting various zoonotic diseases such as rabies, Herpes B virus, HIV, and monkeypox.

It is important to note that owning monkeys or other primates is illegal in the City of San Antonio. The previous owner of the monkey has been cited for the bite, as they lacked proof of a valid rabies vaccination for the animal and were in possession of a prohibited species within the city. Consequently, the monkey has been surrendered to SAACS. Investigators will be collaborating with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and local primate experts to determine quarantine requirements for the monkey.

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