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Louisiana pet owner fights to get her monkey back from state

Posted September 16

— A Louisiana woman is fighting to get her pet monkey back after state officials seized the animal.

Justine Quinn of Church Point is presenting her case in court Friday to have the spider monkey, named Darwin, returned to her.

A 2006 state law bans residents from owning exotic animals without special permit, but Quinn told KATC-TV (http://bit.ly/2cOQgFD) that her family owned Darwin before the law was passed and is grandfathered in.

"He's just been a part of our lives for 13-plus years," Quinn said. "He has much more personality than any pet. He really is like a three-year-old child."

This isn't the first time Darwin has been taken from Quinn. In 2014, the animal was seized by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and sent to a petting zoo.

Following a months-long legal battle, Darwin was returned to Quinn, who said he had injuries to his fingers. According to Quinn, a veterinarian said the monkey was also emaciated.

"Now I know they didn't take care of him the first time, so why would they take care of this time?" Quinn said.

It's unclear why the state seized the monkey a second time.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries didn't provide comment to KATC.

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