Chico May Not Be Long For This World

SPOKANE — Chico, the monkey which Spokanimal quarantined after a South Hill biting spree last week, may have to be put down, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being a dangerous monkey.

Although Chico certainly was acting very aggressive when he escaped from his South Hill home on Saturday, biting two boys and then an adult before Spokanimal officers arrived and caught him with a net, health district officials are rethinking their original decision to not test the monkey for diseases.

Initially they felt the monkey’s solitary lifestyle made it very unlikely that Chico had been infected by other animals but this particular species of monkey is known to carry Herpes B in the wild which can be fatal to humans. Chico’s bloody may now be sampled to look for the virus.

Health district officials are now also concerned about rabies and the only way to detect rabies involves dissecting an animal’s brain, which would seal Chico’s fate.

The alternative is to subject three people, including two children, to a series of very expensive and painful shots in their stomach and so Chico’s life may have to take a back seat to human health.

Health district officials also were also alarmed to learn that Chico’s owner, Amy Hensley, was convicted in federal court of fraud. Her criminal involvement in a diploma mill prompted officials to take a closer look at the documents she provided them regarding Chico’s medical history.

The final decision about Chico’s fate must still be made by Spokane’s acting heath district director and word on that – because the rabies clock is ticking – is expected Friday.