Monkey See, Monkey Shoot?

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, January 1996

Monkey See, Monkey Shoot?
By Todd Balf and Paul Kvinta (with Brooke DeNisco, Martin Forstenzer, and Eileen Hansen)

"You can't go shooting someone's monkey, just like you can't shoot someone's cow," argues Robert Trimble, attorney for the South Texas Primate Observatory, in light of a recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department memo that appeared to advocate the nation's first monkey hunt. The memo stated that there are no laws prohibiting people from shooting the 600 snow monkeys that live at the privately held observatory. The news boosted the spirits of nearby landowners, who claim that some of the monkeys--brought from Japan 20 years ago by a wealthy conservationist--venture beyond the financially strapped observatory's dilapidated fence to raid nearby deer feeders. Authorities have since clarified their position. "We certainly don't advocate shooting them," maintains department spokesman Matt Wagner. "We were just informing landowners that it is legal to do so if they wish."

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