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Monkey seized from Laconia property heads to Sooner State

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 18. 2017 8:30PM

A monkey seized during a property search in Laconia on March 6 is now headed to a primate sanctuary in Oklahoma. (COURTESY)

LACONIA — A monkey taken from a Laconia property last month is en route to a new home — a primate sanctuary in Oklahoma.

Conservation officers with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department executed a search warrant March 6 at a property at 33a Roller Coaster Road in Laconia, after receiving a tip that a monkey was being illegally kept as a pet on the premises. It is illegal to own a primate in New Hampshire.

Conservation officers found and seized a primate found in the possession of Penny Dessalines, 47, and Burnie Johnson, 51, and transported the animal to Dr. Michael Dutton at the Exotic Pet and Bird Specialty Clinic of New Hampshire in Weare, the only veterinary facility in New Hampshire specializing in primate care.

On Tuesday, Lt. Heidi Murphy with New Hampshire Fish and Game confirmed the Patas monkey, named Bella, is en route to a new home — Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary in Newcastle, Okla.

“I’m not sure if the monkey is there yet,” said Murphy on Tuesday. “It is headed to Oklahoma, but will stop along the way in Kentucky to rest, recoup and refuel.”

According to its website, Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuar opened its doors in 1992 and now houses 82 monkeys from at least 13 different species. It specializes in caring for animals once used for research, or that were abandoned or mistreated.


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