Kiewel for NewsBenjamin, a 14-year-old Weeper Capuchin, arrived at Jungle Friends primate sanctuary in Gainesville, Fla. in July after going on the lam after biting a Queens woman.
Kiewel for NewsBenjamin died after a 6-month bout with cancer. Related NewsHunt is on for Allen Hirsch and attack monkey
The cheek-chomping capuchin who went on the lam after biting into a Queens hairdresser's face at a Florida hideaway for wayward monkeys died Monday.
Benjamin the capuchin died after a six-month bout with cancer, according to Kari Bagnall, who runs Jungle Friends in Gainesville, Fla.
The 17-year-old monkey spent his last days getting his face scratched and back rubbed by Jungle Friends workers while enjoying a diet of cooked vegetables, Bagnall said.
"He didn't suffer a lot," Bagnall said. "We knew he was eventually going to die but even knowing it's hard. He was a real sweet guy."
Bagnall took custody of Benjamin this summer when his owner, painter Allen Hirsch, spirited him away from New York to avoid a rabies test that would have required euthanization.
Greene County, N.Y. health officials ordered the test after Benjamin bit Parvin Hajihossini, 53, while she snapped photos of the capucchin during a July stay at Hirsch's Catskill, N.Y. bed-and-breakfast.
Hajihossini is suing Hirsch for her injuries in Queens Supreme Court.
Hirsch is a renowned painter whose work has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. His rendering of Bill Clinton hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
State Department of Environmental Conservation officials say Hirsch could face criminal charges for failing to prevent a wild animal attack when he returns to the United States.
Hirsch was expected in Florida to visit Benjamin two weeks ago but called to say he couldn't make it back from Venezuela, Bagnall said.
Hirsch and his family have plans to return Benjamin to New York for a ceremony and burial, she said. He could not be reached for comment.
In his final months, Benjamin lived alone in a cage to avoid the stress of living with other monkeys. He was given valium to calm his nerves, Bagnall said.
"We knew he was going to die within months and we didn't want to put him with another monkey," Bagnall said.
Jungle Friends specializes in caring for monkeys banished as pets after biting humans.
Story Credit Here
To visit Jungle Friends Here