The state Environmental Police said the 4-month-old marmoset was seized by officers Monday in Lowell and returned to the family hours later with orders to take him to Florida, where the animal was purchased legally and the family owns a second a home, the Boston Herald reported Tuesday.
Environmental Police Maj. Wilton Gray III said the exotic pet is illegal in Massachusetts but it is the agency's policy to return them to a legal home state if possible.
John Linehan, chief executive officer of Zoo New England, said the marmoset likely would have been better off placed in a zoo.
"People don't really know what they're getting into. They see these cute monkeys and they buy them," Linehan said. "As much as anything, from a humane standpoint, this pet shouldn't be in a pet situation. It should be with others of its kind. That's where it'd be happiest."