CNN

A pet primate is on the loose in South Carolina

May 25, 2024, 12:43 PM

Local police have warned residents to keep their pets inside and not to approach the animal. (Tiffa...

Local police have warned residents to keep their pets inside and not to approach the animal. (Tiffany Edenfield via CNN Newsource)

(Tiffany Edenfield via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — South Carolina authorities are searching not for a fugitive prisoner or a stolen vehicle, but rather for a resident’s wayward primate.

The search for the errant animal stretched on for a second day Saturday. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina advised residents in a Facebook post on Friday that a primate is loose somewhere in the Walterboro area, 48 miles west of Charleston.

Authorities didn’t specify what kind of primate, though in a post on X, the sheriff’s office labeled the missing animal as a “primate/ape.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the animal’s owner “is attempting to capture it and has called in assistance.”

A video submitted by a viewer of CNN affiliate WCSC shows the unidentified primate on the roof of a shed in Walterboro. An image taken by Walterboro resident Tiffany Edenfield seems to show the primate standing in the grass. It has a red face, similar to some species of baboon and macaque monkeys.

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Residents in the area are advised not to approach the primate, which the sheriff’s office said “could be stressed,” and only to report sightings.

“Please monitor your pets while they are outside as a precaution,” the sheriff’s office added.

The sheriff’s office received a report of the primate “attempting to attack a resident’s dog in a yard,” according to South Carolina news station WLTX.

It’s unclear how the animal got loose or came to live in Walterboro, a city of over 5,000 people.

South Carolina law says that it’s illegal to purchase or possess great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. But it is legal to keep other wild animals as pets, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Smaller primates like monkeys and baboons seem to fall outside the state’s law on possessing wildlife.

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A pet primate is on the loose in South Carolina