Monday, July 03, 2006

More Monkey Business

I just can't resist...

Monkey on the run in Virginia

Mon Jul 3, 9:53 AM ET

A Japanese monkey aptly named Oops bolted from the Roanoke city zoo, sparking a park-wide shutdown as staff searched the surrounding forest where they could hear her in the trees. Yeah, right. I am sure it is IN A TREE...we know about monkeys (especially Japanese ones) and thier propencity for a tasty brewski.

The 20-pound Japanese macaque and her family were being moved from their holding cells to the exhibit for routine feeding and cleaning when she got away Sunday morning, said David Jobe, education curator at Mill Mountain Zoo. She was still on the run Monday morning. Your mood and your monkey, are both a deep blue. You'd bet that Jobe had nothing on you.

"We hope that because they're active in the daytime, she slept last night and woke up this morning hungry," Jobe said. "We hope to take advantage of a hungry monkey." It's the thirsty ones we should be afraid of. "Hide the Moose Head, honey! A monkey is on the loose!!!"

At 11, Oops is the youngest of four so-called snow monkeys at the zoo. The furry, light brown monkey with the red face got her name because the others were not supposed to reproduce. Oh, so now she is only a "so-called" monkey. She gets punished with a dumb name because of the failure of monkey birth control? That is cruelty to animals if I have ever seen it!

Jobe said he believes she is staying in the forest so she can be in earshot of her family. It's her first trip out of the zoo, and while the staff hadn't seen her since Sunday morning, they heard her throughout the day Sunday as they searched in the forest that surrounds the zoo, he said. So I guess instead of a sunday family trip to the zoo, she felt it was only fair to gawk at people in the suburbs. Turn-about is fair play, you know.

"Part of our concern for her is that it's the first time she's ever been anywhere else and we're sure she's frightened," Jobe said. Yeah, frightened because this thug named Jobe is chasing her around. Just let her have her fling and come back a smarter monkey.

The four-acre zoo, which sits on a mountain inside a Roanoke city park, had never had an escape from its grounds in its 55 years until Sunday, Jobe said. At some point while the monkeys were being shifted, either a zoo employee made a mistake or a piece of equipment malfunctioned, Jobe said. I don't think it was monkeys that were being shifted, it was blame that was being shifted, Mr. Jobe! Maybe the monkey's just smarter than you are.

Both the zoo and park were closed on of the busiest weekends of the year for the search. About 75,000 people usually visit the zoo each year. So it sounds like Oops has the run of the town. I hope you locked your doors...

"Hopefully it will work to our advantage that she escaped alone," Jobe said, adding that if she were with another monkey they would be more apt to explore. Roanoke has had serious problems with gangs of monkeys forming and terrorizing micro-breweries. Oops is thought to have joined the gang named "The long-necks."

He urged anyone who spots the macaque to call 911 and not try to capture her because she could be dangerous if she feels threatened. Japanese macaques, native to Japan, are typically 2 to 4 feet long and have relatively short tails. They can down a 6 pack in 2 minutes. If you are in the Roanoke police department, watch for unmarked packages sitting outside the station. This may be evidence of monkey gang activity.

So this is a very disturbing pattern. Monkeys, Japan, the only thing missing is an inebriated Pelican. I think that was in Blacksburg...