Escaped Baboon Captured in NJ

Sunday, Jul 3, 2011  |  Updated 9:09 AM EDT
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Baboon Captured in N.J.

A baboon that apparently escaped from a New Jersey amusement park has been captured in Howell Township, officials said Saturday.
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A baboon that apparently escaped from a New Jersey amusement park has been captured in Howell Township, officials said Saturday.

The animal appeared to be unharmed when it was found and tranquilized Saturday afternoon in Howell Township. That's not far from Six Flags Great Adventure's Monkey Jungle in Jackson Township, which has about 150 baboons that are part of a drive-through safari. 

Park officials confirmed the capture and say they believe the animal is theirs. But they won't know for sure until it's assessed and they can see if it has a microchip that's embedded in all their
baboons.

Starting Thursday, calls began trickling into police that the monkey had been seen in various yards and public locations.

On Friday afternoon, police say they received a call that witnesses had spotted the animal at the Metedeconk National Golf Club.

On Thursday, police received a call from a woman saying that there was a baboon sitting on her back porch.

"I noticed that it had the red bottom and I started to panic and yell to my husband, 'Oh my God there’s a baboon on the patio,'" said resident Stacey Murphy.

Another witness said the baboon ran up to him and grabbed his lawn mower handle while he was cutting his grass.

The wife of that witness, Dee Prudente, said her husband "was cutting (the grass) and it came from behind him and put its hand on the handle! As if to stop it? I don’t think he liked the noise!”

Sam Diorio said he saw the baboon in the front yard of his home. "I was a little shocked. You could definitely tell it was a baboon."

Witnesses reported seeing a monkey on the side of Interstate 195, near exit 16, reports the Asbury Park Press.

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