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!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Elyse Gazewitz Uses The Media To Get Armini The Monkey Back

Though this is an old article, I think this is an important issue and one that belongs in the Simian Library.

Elyse Gazewitz used the media to her advantage by appearing on numerous TV shows to get a monkey back that she shouldn't have had in the first place. She didn't have the proper permits, nor did she fall under the law before it changed. Armini was placed in a zoo, with monkeys of his own kind, which is where he should have stayed.

Since Elyse has gotten Armini back, they appeared on a TV news show where Armini jumped at, and bit the reporter. Last year Elyse was cited by the USDA for not handling the animal correctly and not having the proper experience and knowledge. Here's the link to this specific violation.

I'm sure we have not heard the last of Armini....




CHETRY: Elyse, first, tell us what happened. How did Montgomery County police even know you had your pet monkey, Armani. And how did they take him away from you?

GAZEWITZ: Well, I was -- I called the sanctuary to find out, like I always have, like any mother would call another mother about food. And the woman referred me to this other woman at a sanctuary. And I called her.

And I had never spoken to her before in my life. She's never seen Armani. She's never been to my house. I don't know this woman. And I was simply talking to her about coconuts and different kinds of nuts and food.

And the next thing I know, she reported me to animal control, Montgomery County Animal Control, saying that my monkey was frail, not eating, and in desperate need of a veterinarian. And animal control showed up at my house and they said that if I didn't let them in, they were going to arrest me and they were going to euthanize my monkey.

So I let them in. And they said that my monkey was perfectly fine. That he had it made. They looked at the room and they said they were going to speak to the director. And . . .

CHETRY: Well, they did end up taking your monkey -- Elyse, they did end up taking the money away from you and now you're in the midst of this fight to get him back. One of the things they say is that apparently they will let you keep an animal but they no longer allow, if you bought it before, I guess, it's October 2006. But they claims that in their statement that they have documentation showing this monkey was not born or purchased until after that law went into effect. Can you prove otherwise to get your monkey back?

GAZEWITZ: Yes. Yes, I can. Yes, I can. And right now I'm fighting to keep him alive because they told me I have to pay $1,300 every month, prepaid, otherwise I lose ownership to Armani and then they'll euthanize him. And I haven't seen him. I'm not allowed to call. And -- I don't know how he is.

CHETRY: And I -- for anybody who loves their pet, they can understand why you feel the way that you do right now. Where is Armani?

GAZEWITZ: He's at the Catoctin Zoo. And they never even called me. I have no idea how he's doing. They didn't ask me, when they took him, they didn't even know his name. They didn't ask me what his eating schedule is, what kinds of foods he eats. Nothing. And Armani is -- he's already started learning his colors and he knows how to turn the remote control on and we watch TV together in the morning. And he just -- he has a routine every day.

And I just want him to come home because I'm very worried. I don't want them to -- I don't want them to take him and euthanize him. And I'm trying so hard to keep him and this is just wrong. And they handcuffed me and they took me to jail. And one animal officer kicked my dog across the kitchen floor because my dog was trying to protect me.

CHETRY: It's an upsetting situation, Elyse, and I know that you've actually gotten a lawyer because you're hoping to be able to prove quickly that he is, indeed, allowed to be kept in Montgomery County.

Can you explain for people what's behind you as well? I mean, you spent thousands of dollars making your home and the area around it friendly for a primate.

GAZEWITZ: Yes, I did. I did my homework. I've always loved primates all my life. It's been a dream of mine. And I understood that I needed to make sure that he had everything that he needs. And I had a room built for him consisting of sky lights so he can get natural vitamin d, and he has monkey bars.

CHETRY: Right. And we're seeing some pictures of it right there.

GAZEWITZ: Yes, and he loves that room.

CHETRY: And we'll show one more picture of little Armani. He certainly is adorable. I know you're trying to figure out what you can do to be able to get him back. And good luck. And please keep us posted.

GAZEWITZ: Thank you so much. And please help me get Armani back.



  1. Anonymous4:11 AM

    does she still have the monkey? tuttlej4321 domain yahoo

  2. Dear Anonymous;
    As far as I know she does still have the monkey, unfortunelty. I would love to see the little guy be with others of his own kind. Because of my experience with taking in 2nd owned monkeys, he is about the age now where he is biting and no longer manageable.

    I did check and she does still have her USDA License.

    When he is placed she is friends with Colleen of frisky's (you can read about them here also) so I'm sure that's where she will place him. I, personally would not place any monkeys there, but it is her decision. :(

    Thanks for your caring question.

  3. I thought perhaps you would be interested in others that have a USDA license so here is the link to find that information