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June 1, 2011

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Monkey business troubles neighborhood

A PET macaque raised in a neighborhood in the Pudong New Area has sparked concern among residents after biting a little girl.

The neighborhood committee tried to persuade the macaque's owner to give up raising it but was rebuffed.

The macaque can be seen in a neighborhood on Pudian Road. During the day, the monkey is tied to a tree next to a greenery area. The owner has also made a small lair for it under the tree. Whenever people get too near, it looks anxious, witnesses said.

The biting incident happened on Sunday. The girl's mother, surnamed Guo, said her daughter was fond of the macaque but got bitten on the arm while playing with it.

Guo took her daughter to hospital immediately and the girl received a tetanus shot. The mother, however, was still very worried.

"There are so many kids in the neighborhood, what if some other kids got hurt by the monkey?" she asked.

Guo reported the matter to the neighborhood committee but members, with no enforcement powers, failed to dissuade the owner to take away the monkey.

The owner, surnamed Gu, said he brought the macaque, which is several months old, from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, and promised that it wouldn't hurt people. He tied the macaque, named "Bi Bi," to the tree in the daytime, and took it home in the evening.

Gu admitted the macaque hasn't been vaccinated yet and that he did not have a certificate to raise the animal.

The Shanghai Wildlife Protection Office said monkeys are a protected species in the country so no individual can raise the animal without permission.

It added that macaques are under second-tier state protection for wild animals. Officials said they will look into the case soon.


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