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Feb 18, 2010 7:38 PM by Jim Hummel

Young Girl Recounts Being Bitten By Monkey

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has euthanized a Japanese Snow Macaque, which officials say bit a 3 year old girl in Carencro last week.

"The monkey grabbed me," said Chloe Carnevale.

The monkey was kept as a pet by Tracey Bourque in a cage adjacent to her home. The child's mother says she and her daughter were dropping something off at Bourque's home last week when the incident occurred.

"He was holding on to her, basically gnawing at her hand, continuously biting her," said Chloe's mom, Jennifer Carnevale.

Bourque was not available for comment Thursday, but her neighbors say the Carnevale's had no right to be on the property and were trespassing. It's a charge Jennifer Carnevale denies, now wishing she hadn't let her daughter get so close to the monkey.

"They belong either in the zoo or in the wild," said Carnevale.

Back in 2006, non-human primates such as the Japanese Snow Macaque were added to the list of potentially dangerous wild quadrupeds. That distinction made it illegal to possess, purchase, sell or import non-human primates in the State of Louisiana.

"They're entertaining, they're very intelligent, they're very complex emotionally, but because of that as they mature, they don't make very good pets, they become a hazard," said Dr. Dana L. Hasselschwert with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center.

Hasselschwert says the only kind of primates that make good pets are the plush kind. Advice 3-year-old Chloe Carnevale seemed to agree with Thursday, as she clutched a new monkey stuffed animal, a gift from her dad.

"This monkey won't bite he hugs you," she said.

Post-mortem testing on the monkey has come back negative for rabies, but the Carnevale's are still awaiting results for herpes B. Those tests should come back by Monday.

Jim Hummel

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