A small monkey was on the loose in downtown Madison through much of Wednesday, having escaped from its handler after biting a woman in the State Street Brats beer garden in the early morning hours. Soon after information about the animal complaint was issued by Madison police, though, the monkey was captured and placed in quarantine for 10 days. According to an update by MPD spokesman Joel DeSpain, the monkey's owner stated that it is a service animal and was on loan to her friend during the incident.
Primates and their relationship with humans have long been a contentious issue in Madison, ranging from the experiments of UW psychologist Harry Harlow in the '60s and the ongoing work at the to establish a profiled here more than a month ago. Then there is "Mikey," another small monkey that was featured in a promotion at a Madison Mallards game on July 27. Among other activities, the animal took a run around the diamond at the Duck Pond, captured on video and subsequently paired with a separate clip of a small boy running around the bases to create a "Battle of the Species." This short video follows below.
As described in Section 23.49 of Madison General Ordinances, the possession, sale and purchase of exotic animals -- including non-human primates -- is prohibited. There are exceptions for state licensed handlers, zoos, circuses and treating veterinarians, though, and it is unclear where service and performing monkeys would fall within these guidelines.