Monkey Captured After It Escaped Its Crate and Ran Amok at Texas Airport
A monkey was the latest animal to have an air travel mishap when the primate somehow got loose and ran around a Texas airport on Monday
A monkey was the latest animal to have an air travel mishap when the primate somehow got loose and ran around a Texas airport on Monday.
The monkey, identified as a Rhesus macaque named Dawkins, was on his way to his new home in Cotulla, Texas, from Chicago when he escaped from his crate at the San Antonio International Airport, a spokesperson for the airport Evelynn Bailey tells PEOPLE.
Bailey says Dawkins escaped at about 2:55 p.m. when it was in the process of being transported into the cargo holding area on an American Airlines flight.
“Somehow the crate opened as it was being transferred to the cargo holding area,” Bailey said in the statement, leading the 10-year-old monkey to escape.
“Dawkins was in route to a local animal sanctuary and refuge in the San Antonio/Castroville area,” the statement continued. “He was cornered to an isolated are safe, away from passengers. He is now on his way to his new home.”
The Statesman reports Dawkins was shot with a tranquilizer.
Dawkins had previously been a research subject at Brown University.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, the sanctuary in Cotulla is the largest in the country which holds about 550 primates.
Prashant Khetan, the CEO of Born Free USA, told the newspaper Dawkins was likely “stressed” which caused him to escape.
“This is a Rhesus macaque in a situation that’s not normal,” Khetan said. “It’s not uncommon, but a reminder for us that when animals are in captivity, they can be unpredictable.”
Video of airport officials chasing Dawkins on the tarmac surfaced on Twitter after almost an hour of running after him.
In a statement to KSAT, a local station, American Airlines said, “After the arrival of American Airlines 1014 from Chicago O’Hare, a monkey that was en route to a local animal sanctuary and refuge in the San Antonio-area inadvertently became free of his cage.”
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After his big ordeal, the monkey made it to the sanctuary late Monday tired but in good condition.
“Dawkins has arrived, safe and sound, at our Primate Sanctuary! The stress of his journey and brief escape at the airport has tired him, but he is doing well. Thank you to everyone for your support and concern,” Born Free USA said on its Facebook.