NKY woman accused of having a monkey that bit a child, court docs say

Officials say the monkey had to be euthanized and tested for rabies to determine.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 2:46 PM EDT
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PENDLETON COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - A Pendleton County woman has been charged after a small monkey allegedly bit a young girl, officials with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said.

Conservation officers received a tip and obtained a warrant to search the home of Jeannie Wilson, 58, on Price Pike in Dry Ridge, according to Kevin Kelly with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The complaint says officers found a cage in Wilson’s home and a marmoset was seized on May 19. State public health and wildlife officials were notified that the bite occurred in late April.

Once the monkey was captured, Kelly says it had to be euthanized and tested for rabies to determine if the girl needed to be treated for the disease.

“State wildlife and public health officials were in communication about the matter and agreed that euthanizing the animal was required by law because of the circumstances and a medical necessity given the serious public health risk that rabies poses to people,” Kelly said. “Since rabies is often fatal in people, it is important to protect the patient first and foremost.”

Primates are defined as inherently dangerous wildlife by Kentucky administrative regulation, and it is illegal to import, transport or possess them in Kentucky without a permit.

According to the complaint, this was the second time Wilson has been in possession of a primate.

The previous time she removed the animal before officers could seize it, the complaint said.

However, picture evidence was found on her phone after the warrant was served, court documents say.

Wilson was charged with one count of propagation and holding of wildlife without a permit, the complaint said.

She appeared in court Tuesday and did not enter a plea, according to the Pendleton County district court clerk.

Wilson is expected to return for a pretrial conference on June 6.

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