Family Vows To Keep Monkey After Attack

1 Person Injured When Monkey Escapes Cage

A Hamilton County family said they have no plans to get rid of a pet monkey that attacked several people and a dog after it got loose on Wednesday.

A teenager in the home called 911 just after 10 a.m. to report that his family's pet Patas monkey had gotten out of its cage and was tearing up his house at 2936 E. 276th St. in Atlanta.

"We have a monkey and he's gotten out of his cage. My brother's hurt and so is my dog," the man told the operator.

When police and animal control officers responded to the scene, the monkey's owner, Bobbi Phelan, had gotten the animal back into his elaborate indoor-outdoor cage.

Her 15-year-old son suffered a cut to his head, and the family's dog had his ear torn off by the animal, police said.

Still, Phelan said the monkey, Eujo, isn't going anywhere, 6News' Tanya Spencer reported.

"He is part of the family. In fact, when people ask if I own a monkey, no, I don't own a monkey, because he's my son. We have a monkey," Phelan said, "But I'm not taking it lightly. I do understand human life and protecting it and the risk."

She said the 40-pound monkey, who she's had for six years, jumped around the home and ate some Pringles, but didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Vicky Dunbar said because of the attack, the monkey will be considered a vicious animal and that a follow-up investigation will be conducted.

"The animal is extremely quick, extremely strong," she said. "My understanding is that it has about the strength of three to four men and had very large teeth."

The monkey has bit Phelan once before. She spent three days in the hospital, but said that's when Eujo started puberty, becoming aggressive.

Phelan said she's already added locks to the monkey's cage, but doesn't plan to give him up.

"He's my son," she said. "I didn't give birth, but I love him just like I love any of my children."

In Indiana, residents are not required to have a permit to own a pet monkey.