Monkey Escapes Caibarién Zoo: Black Berets and Dogs Deployed for Capture

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Emily Vargas

A monkey that escaped from the Caibarién Zoo in Villa Clara on Monday was captured during an operation involving the Ministry of the Interior’s (MININT) Black Berets and dogs, according to eyewitness reports on social media.

The animal caused a ruckus among residents of the Van Troi 1 neighborhood, entering balconies and displaying aggressive behavior toward some people it encountered, as reported on Facebook by Alberto Concepción.

In another post, Concepción clarified that the monkey stole produce from several balconies, suggesting that hunger was the reason for its escape from the zoo.

A video circulating online showed the monkey darting across the rooftop of a building while onlookers and authorities watched in anticipation.

"He’s all over Caibarién now, up there," remarked one witness during a humorous exchange where another person noted that in India, monkeys are everywhere.

Controversial Capture Operation

It remains unclear how the monkey was eventually captured, but the sight of Black Berets accompanied by muzzled dogs did not sit well with animal rights advocates.

"I protest! A loose monkey, but is this the way to catch it? Animals at the Caibarién Zoo are starving without any chance of survival," criticized one user from the group "Total Support for Animals," noting that the intention was to sedate the monkey for capture.

"I love dogs and they are my life, but when trained by professionals, they can be dangerous, and the solution cannot be to set dogs on a sedated monkey," the source added.

The user also mentioned that the monkey was stressed because its caretaker had died some time ago, and the animal likely missed him.

"Beyond what’s happening today, we need to address the root cause of why the monkey escaped. The animals at the Caibarién Zoo are starving; they have no food. I’m sharing a photo of the lions—they’re emaciated. Many will say people are also hungry and times are tough, but the difference is these animals didn’t choose to be there. They were taken from their natural habitat to be placed in those cages like innocent prisoners," the animal rights advocate argued, calling for an end to the mistreatment.

In the comments section, dozens of users agreed that the zoo should be closed and the animals relocated to a place where they can be better cared for and fed.

"It’s very sad and abusive, such a deployment as if it were a killer monkey," wrote one commenter. "The animals didn’t choose this life; if they can’t be kept, they should be set free to live as they deserve. We are the worst species that exists," added another. "It’s a sad situation in this country where even the animals suffer," remarked a third.

Others pointed out that Animal Welfare Law 31 stipulates that necessary conditions must be provided to prevent animals from experiencing stress or malnutrition.

Unfortunately, this is not the first incident of its kind. In November 2019, not one but a group of monkeys escaped from the local zoo and roamed rooftops and trash bins for weeks in search of food.

At that time, residents complained that the monkeys wandered freely for several days, entering homes and stealing food. Zoo authorities expressed concern but claimed they lacked the resources to recapture the primates.

Five years after that incident, the current complaint is not about inaction but about a deployment that many deem inappropriate for the situation.

In 2018, a year before the group escape, a monkey made headlines for eating a neighbor’s glasses "like they were cookies."

The zoo facilities were devastated, like the rest of the town, by Hurricane Irma. After the storm, the Caibarién Zoo was closed to the public for several months, with areas unrepaired and animals alive but hungry. Judging by the recent escape, hunger remains an issue.

FAQs on the Caibarién Zoo Monkey Escape and Animal Welfare

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding the recent monkey escape from the Caibarién Zoo and ongoing concerns about animal welfare at the facility.

Why did the monkey escape from the Caibarién Zoo?

The monkey is believed to have escaped due to hunger, as it was seen stealing produce from balconies. Animal rights advocates argue that the animals at the zoo are not properly fed.

How did the authorities capture the monkey?

Although the exact method of capture is unclear, the operation involved Black Berets from MININT and muzzled dogs, which sparked controversy among animal rights advocates.

What are the main concerns regarding the Caibarién Zoo?

The primary concerns include insufficient food and inadequate living conditions for the animals, leading to stress and malnutrition. Animal rights groups are calling for the zoo's closure and relocation of the animals to better environments.

What does Animal Welfare Law 31 require?

Animal Welfare Law 31 mandates that animals must be kept in conditions that prevent stress and malnutrition. The recent incidents at the Caibarién Zoo suggest that these standards are not being met.

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