CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati police say they are investigating reports from residents claiming they saw five monkeys on the loose overnight on the city’s west side.
But so far, police and an official from the Cincinnati Zoo say there are no verified sightings.
“There’s not much we can do until we have a confirmed sighting by Cincinnati police,” said David Orban, the zoo’s director for animal science and strategy.
Some residents said they saw monkeys swinging in the trees in St. Joseph’s Cemetery at West Eight Street & Enright Avenue in East Price Hill. One of them, Sammy Trinh, posted a video to Facebook that she says shows the monkeys. You can watch it in the video player below and judge for yourself.
Officers responded to the area at about 10 p.m. Wednesday after multiple 911 calls. When police tried calling the numbers back, they say no one answers.
They say that while they did not see any monkeys, they are taking the residents’ reported sightings seriously and described the story as “real.” If the story turns out to be false, police say charges could be filed.
If it turns out monkeys are on the loose, police told us they think the animals must have escaped from a private collection.
Cincinnati police returned to the cemetery later Thursday morning with Orban.
He said no monkeys have escaped from the zoo.
The Facebook video is too dark and blurry to tell for sure, according to Orban.
He pointed out that “numerous types of animals can occupy trees” and it’s hard to judge by the size and appearance of the ones in the video.
“Until we are able to identify them in the daylight, it’s hard to know. The Cincinnati Zoo will be here to assist and confirm, but at this point, we need a confirmed sighting. If anyone does have a confirmed sighting of these monkeys they should call Cincinnati police.”
Should anyone spot what they think is a monkey, he says “as with all wild animals, people should keep their distance. The best thing to do is to call the Cincinnati Police Department and let them know they have a sighting.”
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