Monkey euthanized after biting 3 people - FOX Carolina 21

Monkey euthanized after biting 3 people

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Cous-Cous, the marmoset monkey police say bit three people. (Courtesy Cous-Cous' family) Cous-Cous, the marmoset monkey police say bit three people. (Courtesy Cous-Cous' family)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Asheville police said they found drugs at the site where three people were bitten by a monkey Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses said that about 5 p.m. a domesticated marmoset got loose in a neighborhood on Upland Road, off of Spooks Branch in north Asheville.

According to Asheville police, the monkey was running loose and just jumped on the victims. They said one person was bitten on the finger and the other two were bitten on their ears.

SLIDESHOW: Pictures of Cous-Cous the monkey

Katy Dellinger, one witness, said at one point the monkey "freaked out" and started jumping and biting.

Police said that when they arrived, the monkey had already been captured by its owner.

The monkey's owner was given written warnings for running at-large, owning an animal that bit a person and keeping an animal prohibited in the city limits, police said. The monkey was taken to the Buncombe County Animal Shelter where it was being assessed for rabies.

Police said the monkey appeared to be healthy.

Gabrielle Campiformia, the monkey's owner, said she has been told that the animal will be euthanized. She said she's very upset because she considers the tiny primate, named Cous-Cous, her baby. She said the monkey sleeps with her and she bottle feeds it.

City officials said the monkey was being held for observation until state health officials decide how to proceed. Officials said Cous-Cous was euthanized Monday.

Marc Fowler, with Buncombe County Environmental Health said Cous-Cous was euthanized to test her for rabies. Fowler said when dealing with exotic animals the rabies shot is considered "off label," which means it hasn't been proven effective in exotics like monkeys.

Additionally, Fowler said the incubation period for rabies is unknown on monkeys so they officials needed to test her for rabies as fast as possible. He said if Cous-Cous' rabies vaccination was up to date, it would not have mattered because the vaccination has not been proven to work.

Health officials said Cous-Cous' rabies results showed she did not have rabies.

On Monday, two of the people who were bitten told FOX Carolina that they were being treated with preventative antibiotics, but not for rabies.

Police said that marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, hashish and ecstasy were found at the scene. They said a cash-counting machine and vacuum-sealing machine were also found.

They said 40-year-old Charles Winecoff, who lived at the home, was charged with several drug violations and a dwelling violation. He was being held on $50,000 bond.

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