Entries in Monkey (6)


List of Top New Species Includes Glow-in-the-Dark Cockroach, New Monkey

intl. Inst. for Species Exploration at Arizona State Univ.(PHOENIX) -- What's new in animal species? Plenty, according to the sixth annual Top 10 list by the Institute at Arizona State University that includes everything from a glow-in-the-dark cockroach to an "Old World" monkey with a bright blue buttocks.

"Through the top 10, we are really just trying to raise awareness about how many species there are on the planet," Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), told ABC News. "On average, 18,000 species a year are discovered. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn't."

Wheeler said there are an estimated 10 to 12 million living species, but only about 2 million have been discovered. This year's top 10 list was whittled down from more than 140 nominees.

While the institute simply compiles a list, "These discoveries are actually made by professionals and amateurs around the world," he said.

The 2013 release by the IISE showcases, among many impressive things, the discovery of the world's smallest vertebrate -- a tiny, 7 millimeter frog found in Papua, New Guinea. An image released by the institute shows the frog taking up about a third of the space on the face of a U.S. dime. The largest known vertebrate in the world is the blue whale, measuring 85 feet long.

A new type of luminescent (or glow-in-the-dark) cockroach specimen was discovered in Ecuador. Though the species may have already been extinct for some time, Wheeler said it's believed that the cockroach would mimic the toxic luminescent clicking beetle to ward off predators. This cockroach is one of more than a dozen species of luminescent cockroaches discovered since 1999.

Another fascinating finding was a new species of monkey, the lesula, only the second new species of monkey to be discovered in Africa in the last 28 years. The IISE said the lesula has been known to the people of Congo, where it was discovered by scientists, but the species was never recorded. This species of monkey has eyes that observers say look human, with brown coloring, and males have large, bare patches of skin on the buttocks and testicles that is a brilliant blue.

But the most interesting discovery may be that of the Semachrysa jade -- a green lacewing. What is believed to be the first ever photo of the insect was taken by Malaysian photographer Hock Ping Guek, though unbeknownst to him at the time. A California scientist happened upon the image of the lacewing on Guek's Flickr and asked him to mail the specimen to London's Natural History Museum where it was eventually identified registered as a new species.

Wheeler explained to ABC News that some scientists are predicting half of the world's species could be gone by the end of the century (a type of extinction that last happened at the time of the dinosaurs), so furthering these discoveries and spreading interest through the yearly top 10 list is important.

In a statement attached to this year's list of species, Wheeler pressed the urgency of exploring now: "We are calling for a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years. This would lead to discovering countless options for a more sustainable future while securing evidence of the origins of the biosphere."



Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


‘Mystery Monkey’ Captured in Florida

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The mystery monkey of Tampa Bay, who became a local celebrity, has been captured after spending two years on the lam.

Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission waited four hours for the wild rhesus macaque to appear in an area where it had been seen in recent days and tranquilized him with a dart, said Baryl Martin, a Fish and Wildlife official who has been on the monkey’s trail.

Martin said the monkey appeared to be “doing all right” and was being evaluated by a veterinarian.

Earlier this month, the 40-pound monkey jumped on a woman’s back at her home and bit her twice, Martin said, underscoring the need to catch the fugitive primate.

The wild rhesus macaque enjoyed some celebrity during his years of freedom. He was mentioned on The Colbert Report and a Facebook page in his honor garnered more than 86,000 likes.

Once the monkey receives a clean bill of health, Martin said he will likely be sent to a local exotic animal facility until a good home can be found for him.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Mystery Monkey' on Lam After Biting Fla. Woman

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The elusive “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay” is still on the loose after it bit a St. Petersburg, Fla., woman Monday.

The monkey, a wild rhesus macaque, has become a popular figure among locals in the Tampa Bay area. For several years, the monkey had been spotted hopping around and making itself at home in several Pasco and Pinellas County neighborhoods. The monkey even has a Facebook page, and has been mentioned on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Its avid fans can purchase T-shirts bearing its face on’s website, which fills in details of the monkey’s life.

"The creature, native to southern Asia, has been shot several times by tranquilizer darts and has proved equally elusive in urban areas as in dense woodland. Seemingly unfazed by humans, it has been spotted several times relaxing beside people’s swimming pools,” says the website.

"Officials are not sure where the monkey came from, but a popular theory is that it became separated from a troop of wild monkeys in a state park around 118 miles north of its current stalking ground,” the site states. "The troop descended from animals originally imported to star in early Tarzan films.”

Until Monday, the monkey remained a harmless, fun-to-follow animal for Floridians. But that all changed when it bit a St. Petersburg woman several times as she sat outside her home.

“This monkey bit a woman. It was unprovoked. … This is typical of what happens when wildlife associates people with feeding,” Gary Morse, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told ABC News. “No matter how the feeding is done, direct or indirect, on purpose or inadvertent, the behavior and the results tend to be the same.”

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said in her report to wildlife officials that she was not feeding the monkey at the time, but apparently, her neighbors had fed it in the past.

“This is typical, although the animal might be perfectly fine around those that are feeding it, people really aren’t safe. Anyone in that domain of the animal is subject to have to deal with it in a very unpleasant way,” Morse said.

The woman said in her report that she was sitting outside with her back turned to the animal, unaware it was even nearby.

“Apparently, she’s sitting in the chair. The monkey came up and jumped on her, and she freaked, the monkey freaked.  I don’t think it was an attack so to speak, but they just scared the hell out of each other,” David Yates, a local wildlife trapper with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc., said.

As of Wednesday morning, it was not known whether the woman had sustained any life-threatening diseases from the animal, but Morse warned of that  possibility.

“These animals have a variety of very serious and deadly diseases. There’s herpes, hepatitis, and there is no cure for these things. …  The concern over rabies isn’t that great, because there are effective treatments for it,” Morse explained.

Although wildlife officials had never reported any previous problems with the Mystery Monkey, Morse said its aggression was inevitable.

“Any time that you’re dealing with wildlife, never feed it. Never allow it to find food. Don’t leave your pet food outside. Don’t leave your trash accessible to animals. It invariably ends up causing problems,” said Morse. “We warned the public this would likely happen over time. …  It’s the same essential message.”

Yates and his team have set traps around the undisclosed neighborhood in an attempt to capture the monkey. However, if the traps fail or prove ineffective, they have to resort to dart guns.

“The monkey’s got to be stopped. Now that he’s bit, it’s over,” Yates said.

Morse and Yates emphasized that the public needs to stay away from the monkey and not disturb the traps they have placed on private property.

“We don’t want any disturbances in the neighborhood at all. There’s a trap in the area, but we don’t want media or even officers around it. Animals are very in tune with their surroundings. … We’re asking everyone to stay away from the area and allow the trap to work,” Morse said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gorilla Reported At Large in Alabama

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Authorities in Alabama are on the hunt for at least one gorilla after reports surfaced that the animal was spotted near a store in rural Newbern, Ala.

The Hale County Sheriff’s Office said the town’s volunteer fire department and police have been searching for the gorilla since the sighting was reported over the weekend, according to local affiliate ABC33/40.

Newbern is a town of around 220 people in Hale County, approximately 50 miles south of Tuscaloosa.

Authorities say they are not sure how many gorillas they are searching for.

One sighting was said to have been made by a child, while another person reported seeing what may have been a bear.  The sightings have not been confirmed by home video or surveillance video, 33/40 reports.

The closest zoo to Newbern is located nearly 100 miles away in Birmingham, Ala.  Officials at the Birmingham Zoo confirmed to ABC News on Monday that the zoo’s sole gorilla, 16-year-old Cenzoo, is present and accounted for.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Monkey Banana Sam Snatched From San Francisco Zoo

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A monkey-hunt is underway in the San Francisco area after someone stole a tiny squirrel monkey from the city’s zoo.

The black and orange monkey, named Banana Sam, was reported missing from his enclosure by zoo employees Friday morning. Zoo officials quickly found signs of a break-in: two holes cut in the wire mesh cage and the chain on the perimeter fence cut.

“The one hole is fairly small and its right by where their nest box is that they sleep in at night. The other hole on the other panel is fairly large — a small person could certainly go in,” said Corinne Macdonald, the curator of primates at the San Francisco Zoo.

Now, the search is on for Banana Sam, who is one foot tall and weighs only two pounds. At 17 years old, Sam is considered elderly by monkey standards and he requires special food to survive.

A private donor has put up $5,000 for Banana Sam’s safe return.

Squirrel monkeys are often sold on the black market and used for medical research or kept as exotic pets.

As one San Francisco cop said, if your friend, relative, neighbor or acquaintance suddenly has a pet monkey they didn’t have the day before, please call 9-1-1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Baboon Seen on the Loose in New Jersey

John Foxx/Thinkstock(JACKSON, N.J.) -- A baboon has been seen on the loose in the Garden State.

There have been at least four sightings, according to Jackson, N.J., police, and officers are still working to track down the primate.

"We do dispatch officers to each of the resident calls, but none of the officers have observed the animal," said Capt. David Newman of the Jackson Police Department. "He's been on the move."

The baboon was first seen along Interstate 195 at 2:10 p.m., Newman said.

The second sighting came from a woman who said a baboon was sitting on her back porch on Jackson.

The animal was last seen at 10:50 a.m. on a residential road called Buttonwood Drive in the town.

Sgt. Edward Bennett said both spottings occurred in the backyards of local residents and police are still uncertain from where the baboon escaped.

There is speculation the baboon could have escaped from the nearby Six Flags Great Adventure's Monkey Jungle. All of the park's baboons are vaccinated and micro-chipped, but are not counted every night because they sleep outside in a large enclosure, Great Adventure spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher told the Asbury Park Press.

Monkey Jungle is home to 150 baboons and it would be difficult to tell if one is missing, she said.

Anyone who spots the roaming baboon should call police and not approach the animal, even though baboons are not typically aggressive, officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio