Welcome to the jungle? Monkey reportedly spotted loose at the McPolin Farm
The Park City Police Department in mid-May received a highly unusual call from someone claiming they saw a monkey running loose at the McPolin Farm, the picturesque swath of open space along the S.R. 224 entryway where wildlife indigenous to the area is sometimes seen.
Rick Ryan, a police captain, said someone approached a police officer with the information about a monkey. The officer checked the area but did not see the animal. Ryan did not immediately have details about the person who spoke to the officer.
"We often get citizens who report different types of animals that are loose. Many, many times they are unfounded," Ryan said.
The captain indicated the person did not provide the police with a detailed description of the animal. The police were contacted at 7:47 p.m. on May 16, and the person did not mention there being people at the scene with the monkey.
The Police Department did not receive another report.
Ryan said the report is the first involving a claim of a loose monkey in Park City he is aware of in his 25 years with the Police Department. He did not discount the report, though.
"This individual perhaps saw a monkey loose running around the farm," Ryan said, adding, "The fact we didn’t see it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there."
Ryan said the veracity of the report is "certainly possible," saying there are people who own exotic pets.
Wildlife officials have long contended that people who see animals in the wild sometimes mistake them for other species. From afar, as an example, someone might be looking at a large dog and believe they are seeing a mountain lion. They might also see a large dog and mistake the animal for a wolf.
Wildlife is plentiful in the Park City area, with the mountains ringing the city being home to deer, elk and moose. Mountain lions and bears are seen with less frequency.
Scott White, a lieutenant with the state Division of Wildlife Resources who is assigned to the region that includes the Park City area, said the state prohibits people from keeping primates as pets.
White, a 23-year veteran of the division, said he was unaware of another report involving a monkey. He said the likelihood that the person at the McPolin Farm saw a monkey is "fairly slim" but he did not discount the report.
"I’ve never heard of any monkeys up that way," he said.
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