CHILLICOTHE, Mo. – FOX 4 got the opportunity to speak with the owner of a monkey who managed to get loose on Friday. The white-faced Capuchin led Chillicothe police on a day-long chase, and for eight hours, the four-pound monkey commanded the town’s attention.
The animal`s owner, Billy Johnston, brought along another pet monkey when interviewed by FOX 4’s Katie Banks. The monkey he brought is similar in size to the five-year-old white-faced Capuchin named Buster, who broke out of his cage earlier on Friday.
Police say the monkey ran around town, at one point getting too close for comfort to a school. Officers worried Buster might bite a curious child if given the chance. They eventually cornered the monkey in a salvage yard, where Johnston tried five times to shoot him with tranquilizer darts, but missed.
Police then shot and killed the monkey, a difficult decision, but the right one in Johnston's eyes.
"And I don't want anything to happen to anybody, so finally I told the policemen they need to do their job and they really hated, they apologized to me and everything, but that's a sad outcome, you know?" Johnston said.
Police say Johnston lawfully raises and sells monkeys, which can go for up to $7,500 a piece. He has 10 others just like Buster and says he's likely to pay a fine to the USDA for Friday's mishap.