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Pet monkey escapes from Southern Pines home

Posted January 4, 2012
Updated January 5, 2012

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— Moore County Animal Control is searching for a pet monkey that ran away from a home in Southern Pines earlier this week, spokesman Al Carter said Wednesday.

The tan rhesus monkey, which goes by the name Toby, is 2 years old and weighs about 10 pounds. It is wearing a diaper, Carter said, and has been missing since Monday.

Carter said the animal is docile and that he didn't think anyone was in danger.

The animal squeezed out of its collar and leash, opened a door and escaped from Connie and Rudy Baxley's home at 1190 E. Connecticut Ave. The couple said the sirens from a passing fire truck scared the monkey and sent it running.

They've been looking for it ever since, even walking through the woods near their home playing monkey sounds from a recorder. They've left Toby's kennel, blanket and a can of Mountain Dew, the animal's favorite soda, outside to try to lure it home.

Neighbors have reported seeing Toby, but the animal remains on the loose.

Toby the rhesus monkey Moore County couple searches for lost pet monkey

The Baxleys have only had the pet for about three weeks, Connie Baxley said.

"I did not expect to love it immediately, (but I did), almost within moments," she said. "He is a member of our family now."

She said she is distraught over losing Toby, which she described as smart and affectionate.

"We can't eat, sleep," she said. "We are in the woods real late."

As long as they are properly kept, Carter said having a pet rhesus monkey is legal in Moore County, but rules vary from county to county in North Carolina.

Anyone who sees Toby is asked to call authorities.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • anne53ozzy Jan 6, 2012

    jadedone....do some research....you are wrong on all counts...seen any monkeys in the trees here of late? NO
    this climate is not one that they can survive in winter.

  • anne53ozzy Jan 6, 2012

    I have been in contact with WRAL, the Primate Ctr, the NC Zoo and the makers of Mountain Dew about this issue. This unfortunate animal will likely freeze to death as it is not one that is native to this climate and has no place called "home" in its memory in the wild in which to seek shelter. I know the people who bought this monkey had the best of intentions but this sort of trade should be outlawed.

  • quaten Jan 5, 2012

    "...Check www.kaseytotherescue.com and broaden your minds." >>jadedone

    Did so on your advise. Wonderful story. Thanks.

    Any updates on Toby? Is he back home?

  • chattycat Jan 5, 2012

    If you don't have anything nice to say or if all you have is your sarcastic remarks, do us all a favor and just be quiet! This is a family pet, they are devistated. If you don't understand that then you don't have a heart!

  • whatusay Jan 5, 2012

    Has anyone checked the trees??? Isn't that where monkeys live?

  • m121755 Jan 5, 2012

    The people that owned this pet care for him as much as you and I care for our dog or cat. I know that they are still hoping for a safe return. It has been very cold, I hope he has found a place to stay warm and that he will be reunited with the family that cares for him.

  • mmtlash Jan 5, 2012

    the "Friends" guy had a pet monkey!

  • iknowmyschnitzel Jan 5, 2012

    Why are they not to be kept as pets? They have a far longer life expectancy in captivity and most are very docile and loving animals. This is no different than a dog getting off it's leash and running away. Monkeys spend their days foraging for food and have fur to protect from the cold. Why in the world would it die of starvation and cold? Common sense people.

  • Vietnam Vet Jan 5, 2012

    Oh...Oh, Caesar's loose!

  • mautry Jan 5, 2012

    here monkey monkey,here monkey monkey