Parents worried after monkey attacks girl

Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:58 PM
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The family of a Missouri girl injured by a monkey in a parking lot says they're worried about her health and upset with how authorities handled the incident.

As 8-year-old Tayce Nickel and her family were going to get back-to-school haircuts, the girl saw the monkey in a car with its owner and wanted to see it, KY3-TV, Springfield, reported Tuesday.

As she approached the vehicle, the macaque monkey, named Charlie, grabbed her by the hair.

Tayce's family said the monkey bit the child on the forehead; the animal's owner said it was a scratch.

"I'm sure he felt threatened when she came into his territory inside the car, and it scared him and he grabbed her hair," owner Vicki Pulley said.

Tayce's parents called Springfield Animal Control, which made a report and sent the monkey home. When Tayce's father, Michael Weeks, learned more about macaque monkeys, he said, he became frustrated.

"They're known to carry tuberculosis, hepatitis B, herpes, and this animal is just allowed to go home," Weeks said.

Tayce was seen by a doctor and taking antibiotics and antivirals.

"Everybody says, 'Put her on antivirals and pray.' That's basically the situation we've been left in," Weeks said.

The monkey has been sent to a vet to be tested, with results expected in a week.

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