staff and news service reports
updated 9/14/2010 8:56:11 AM ET 2010-09-14T12:56:11

A spider monkey named W.C. Fields is roaming the hilly suburban subdivisions northwest of San Antonio after escaping from a primate preserve.

Primarily Primates president Stephen Tello told the San Antonio Express-News that the monkey escaped from the sanctuary last week when strong winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine tore open his wire enclosure.

The monkey is one of three that escaped after a felled tree caused the damage, but staff captured two right away, Tello told WOAI-TV of San Antonio.

"You can tell he's lost," Tello told the TV station. "You can tell he's scared, doing a lot of vocalizations. So, we really have a scared, hungry primate."

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The Express-News said the animal stayed out of reach of sanctuary staff by climbing trees, and traveled almost six miles on Monday alone.

Residents have spotted the primate near homes and in some garages, the WOAI report said.

Gilbert Rodriguez told San Antonio's KENS-TV that his agitated wife called him Monday, saying a monkey had chased her into her garage. No one was injured, but the woman's nephew, Matt Meneses, says she was trapped for more than an hour.

"Don't go outside. Don't try to pet him," Tello cautioned to WOAI.  "Don't try to befriend him, and don't feed him at this point."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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