Primate Rescue Center

Bowie, TX Woman Recovering From Monkey Attack

Erika Fleury November 26, 2015

The Montague County, Texas Sheriff's Office has revealed a Bowie-area woman is recovering from a monkey attack earlier in November. The woman was treated for minor injuries she received after being attacked by a Japanese snow macaque on her back porch recently.

Hope is a Japanese snow macaque living at the PRC. She was formerly a pet.

Sheriff Paul Cunningham said the woman was attacked on her porch by a large monkey on Nov. 9. Cuningham's office learned of the attack when they were called to Bowie Memorial Hospital to take a report on a "monkey bite." On arrival, the officers talked to Margy Depreist, who lives on FM 1125. Depreist said she saw a large snow macaque on her back porch. "She tried to scare it off, but then she heard her neighbor calling for the animal apparently looking for it after it got out of its cage. Depreist called out to the owner turning her back on the monkey, which then attacked her," the sheriff said.

The monkey was biting her on the left leg and she also was bitten on a finger as she attempted to use a chair to knock the animal away. Her husband also shot at the monkey with a pistol.

Cunningham said it was a snow macaque monkey about 2 1/2 feet tall. He described it as not as large as a chimpanzee, but larger than a spider monkey. The monkey is owned by Cecil Willis, who also has five other smaller monkeys.

Depreist was treated and released from Bowie Memorial Hospital. While the monkeys are known to carry a "host of diseases", the sheriff said, they do not carry rabies. "We are working with the county health officer to see what testing may need to be done. Initially we were told we may have to have blood drawn from the monkey using a hazardous materials team, but that does not appear to be needed now," he said.

The investigators also have been in contact with a state zoologist and found the monkey does not fall under wild or dangerous animal statutes. The monkey went back to its owner and has been quarantined in its own kennel.

The macaque has a pinkish face and posterior. The rest of its body is covered in brown, greyish or yellowish hair. The coat of the macaque is well-adapted to the cold. Males weigh, on average, 25 pounds and a female about 19 pounds.

These snow monkeys are well-known for their appearance, which has been documented by photographs published by National Geographic. Their white fur and red face are often shown against a backdrop of snow or dark water, making them look rather ethereal.

- Times Record News

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