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Pet Primate on the Loose Sparks Intrigue and Concern in South Carolina

Primate on suburban rooftop

A Pet Primate On the Loose in South Carolina

Saturday, May 25, 2024: Walterboro, South Carolina – The city has an unusual guest to welcome; not a fugitive prisoner or a stolen vehicle, but an escaped resident’s primate. The search for this furry runaway stretched for a second day, sparking intrigue among residents and making national headlines.

County Sheriff Office Warns Residents

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office used a Facebook post on Friday to alert residents about the loose primate, last seen in the Walterboro area, 48 miles west of Charleston. Authorities didn’t specify the species but mentioned it as a “primate/ape.” The owner of the primate is said to be making efforts to capture it with professional assistance.

First Glimpse of the Primate

Documenting the incident, Walterboro resident Tiffany Edenfield captured an image that appears to feature the primate standing in the grass. With its distinctive red face, the creature bears semblance to certain species of baboon and macaque monkeys. The sighting initially drew skepticism, with residents finding it hard to believe their eyes at the sight of a monkey in their backyard.

One such resident, Kordell Brabham, relayed an amusing anecdote. Disbelieving the news initially, Brabham advised his grandmother to go inside thinking excessive heat had perhaps borne hallucinations of a nonsensical monkey sighting. However, he was soon taken aback as he personally caught sight of the creature. The escapee could be witnessed, rather boldly, walking on top of a shed, proving its existence beyond any doubt.

Authorities Advise Against Engaging with the Primate

The Colleton County Sheriff’s office has issued public warnings urging residents to avoid approaching the primate, possibly in a stressed state. They have also suggested extra caution for pets, advising owners to monitor their pets especially while outside. The primate was also reported attempting an attack on a resident’s dog in a yard, underlining concerns over safety.

South Carolina Laws on Keeping Primates as Pets

It remains unclear how the primate got loose or came to reside in Walterboro, a city of more than 5,000 people. As per South Carolina law, it is illegal to buy or keep great apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans as pets. However, it legally allows for other wild animals to be kept as pets, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. As such, smaller primates like monkeys and baboons seem to fall outside the state’s law on possessing wildlife.

The incident of the loose primate in Walterboro opens up a broader conversation about laws pertaining to pet ownership of exotic and potentially dangerous animals. But for now, the residents and authorities of Walterboro remain focused on safely capturing the primate on the loose without causing harm to the creature or the community.


Pet Primate on the Loose Sparks Intrigue and Concern in South Carolina

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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