Monkey on the loose in Morrisville, $1,500 reward offered for return

Pets and Animals

A visiting South Carolina couple is making a plea this weekend to find their missing monkey named Willow.

Willow and her companion Mickey traveled to the Triangle for an annual veterinary check-up.

Anne and Mike Smith told CBS 17 that when they walked outside their Morrisville hotel, a plane on the flight path scared the monkey who then ran off.

With forecasted frigid temperatures and a freeze warning, the Cotton Top Tamarin could die if she’s not found soon.

“We’re actually just devastated,” Anne Smith cried. “It’s just like losing a child — no one knows that unless they’ve had — they had a monkey. They just don’t know it; it’s about to kill me.”

Willow was last seen by La Quinta Hotel in Morrisville.

The primates, native to Colombia, have been classified as critically endangered since the 1970s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). International law forbids pet trade of cotton top tamarins, as is specified by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The Smith’s are offering a $1,500 reward for her return, and they’ve also organized several volunteer search parties.

For more info, contact Anne Smith at 864-979-8446 or at smithebs@bellsouth.net

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