August 27, 2009

Monkeyshines: Tails enwrap toddler at zoo

A 2-year-old boy who climbed a retaining wall at an Albuquerque, N.M., zoo ended up in the clutches of monkey tails, zoo officials said.

The monkeys at Rio Grande Zoo thrust their tails through a mesh fence and took hold of the boy's feet Wednesday, KOAT-TV, Albuquerque, reported.

The child suffered only a few scratches from nearby rocks.

The monkeys wrapped their tail around the child's feet, and he got a little bit excited, and the monkeys may have gotten excited also, said Rick Janser, a zoo official.

The boy's father was able to unwrap a monkey's tail and free his son. The boy's family said three monkeys wrapped their tails around the boy's feet, but not all at once.

The zoo has since moved another planter in front of the low retaining wall to keep the monkeys away from people, KOAT said.

Wednesday marked the first time the monkeys had grabbed a person, Janser said.

We try to make it as safe as possible, he said. We can't anticipate all scenarios.