The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Woman Helps Capture, Escaped Capuchin Monkey

Homeowners helped capture zoo monkey

By Chris Vetter
Chippewa Falls News Bureau

CHIPPEWA FALLS - When Roxanne Paukner heard something on her deck, she joked to her husband that it might be the monkey missing from nearby Irvine Park zoo.

"It sounded too big to be a squirrel," Paukner said.

Paukner went outside to investigate, and she was surprised when she came face to face with the monkey staring at her, eye-level, in a tree.

"I couldn't believe I was seeing a monkey in my tree," Paukner said. "And it was scared and cold."

It was indeed the capuchin monkey that vandals had let loose from the park Aug. 19, along with many other animals, by cutting holes in cages and cutting locks on gates.

Eventually, all the other animals were found except the capuchin. Roxannne and her husband, David, first saw her Aug. 29 at their house on Highway Q, about a mile from the zoo. They saw her many more times before she finally was caught Sept. 3 after 15 days on the lam.

Roxanne called 911 after the first sighting and was put in touch with the city's parks department. A zoo worker brought a live trap to the house. The Paukners then didn't see the monkey for a few days, and the live trap was taken to a different spot where the monkey had been seen.

Roxanne then left half of a peanut butter sandwich out on the deck rail. When she checked later, the sandwich was gone and the monkey had left behind its droppings.

Over the next couple of days, the monkey started making frequent visits near the house.

"My daughter saw her on the deck again," Roxanne said. "I opened the door, and she ran. I tossed a piece of banana, and she came on the deck and got it. We did that three, four times."

Roxanne put a blue garbage can on her deck, and she left almonds and bananas across her deck and in the can.

The monkey was back Wednesday morning, Sept. 2.

"She was going tentatively into the barrel," Roxanne said. "Then the zoo got excited - they thought now the monkey has a bit of a pattern here."

Zoo workers brought the live trap back to the Paukner residence. Roxanne baited the trap with strawberries, cantaloupe and marshmallows. She checked later that day, and the monkey had returned for the food.

"She was back, sitting on the deck rail, eating a strawberry and she was getting braver," she said.

The next day, the monkey "stayed around all day. She was looking in the windows. You'd call her, and she'd peek out. She was here checking us out. It was amazing."

The Paukners' dog growled at the glass window at the monkey, but the monkey hissed back.

"It was almost like it was her territory. She was feeling very comfortable," Roxanne said.

It appeared the monkey would have been willing to enter the house, but the Paukners feared the damage the monkey could have done to furniture and carpets if it got locked inside.

The monkey eventually entered the live trap. Once she got toward the back of the trap to retrieve a banana, her weight on a plate on the trap's floor caused the trap door to shut.

"I felt bad trapping her, but she couldn't have survived out there," Roxanne said.

Paukner has been to the zoo since the monkey was caught last week, and she's happy to see it jumping around and acting normal. She hopes to get involved in a plan to create a larger habitat for the monkey at the park.

Two teens were questioned Tuesday about their roles in releasing the animals. They were referred to the district attorney's office for possible charges.

Vetter can be reached at 723-0303 or


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