'Chimp on loose' terrorising Texas town attacking people and swinging from trees

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A chimp is terrorising a town in Texas as it savages locals and swings from trees, local media reports.

Police and animal control are dealing with reports of a “loose monkey” in Santa Fe.

Residents are urged not to approach the monkey and to call the authorities if they spot him.

It is theorised the primate might be an escaped pet chimpanzee.

Chimps are still kept as pets by some and are notoriously hard to handle when they reach maturity.

However, if the mystery animal is a chimp – that would make it an ape, not a monkey.

Chimp
It is theorised the ‘loose monkey’ might be a chimp

Bayou Animal Services confirmed they have had reports the animal has harassed people and dogs.

It has also reportedly attempted to snatch cats.

Two reports have claimed people have been attacked by the monkey – including a child.

One woman alleged to have been chased by the monkey when going to check her mail and had to hide in her car for 20 minutes.

Chimp
Chimps are strong, fast, intelligent and can be vicious

In a statement, Bayou Animal Services said: “We do not know type of monkey. We have not set eyes on the monkey.”

It added: “The safety of residents, and the animal are top priority.

“Please allow the primate team to do their job, and please keep phone lines free in order for us to take actual verifiable reports.”

Santa Fe Police Department also urged anyone who sees the monkey to call the cops.

Chimp
People have reported spotting the ‘chimp’

Bayou Animal Services have deployed a drone to try hunt it down as part of their primate unit.

“Do not interfere. Do not attempt to help. They are professionals and know what they are doing,” they said.

Owners of chimps and other monkeys are required to have a Wildlife Diversity Permit.

Animal control confirmed its staff checked with license holders in the area and that all primates were accounted for on Tuesday.

Chimp
1,700 chimps live in captivity in the US

It is estimated more than 1,700 chimps are kept in captivity in the US – including in the hands of private pet owners.

Chimpanzees are one of humanity’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom.

They are also very dangerous creatures, strong, fast, intelligent and vicious – weighing up to 60kg and standing 1m tall.

In 2009, a chimp named Travis savaged his owner – ripping apart her face – and tried to attack cops before being shot in Connecticut.

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