‘We can bite’: Residents worry as monkeys move into Missouri neighborhood

National

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) — Monkeys have moved into a quiet St. Louis County neighborhood with warning signs that they may bite, and residents are concerned.

From the street, you can see a large cage in the backyard of a home in unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri, just down the street from the Florissant city line.

“This just came out of nowhere. They’re just trying to put this all in before anybody’s aware of it,” the Rev. Cedric Portis said.

Portis said he noticed a mover last month drop off animal cages into his new neighbor’s backyard. There were no monkeys visible at the time, but he noticed a sign warning, ”We have teeth and we can bite.”

“We have children at the bus stop. We live right next door to the service station – very heavily residential area,” Portis said.

“We’re not looking for an animal sanctuary of this kind with wild animals in Florissant,” he said. “North County’s coming back, but we don’t want that. The zoo already purchased a property, the old golf course you know. We want the animals to stay there.”

Florissant’s Mayor Timothy Lowery went to check it out.

“This is outside the city of Florissant, but certainly these residents up here were very concerned about what was going on here with these cages getting put up in the backyard, and so I started looking into it,” he said.

Lowery said Florissant ordinances would not allow it, but St. Louis County may be different.

KTVI spoke with Texanne McBride, the owner of the monkeys, including four bonnet macaques monkeys. She carried one of the animals around her neck, while another larger monkey could be seen in a cage she would not allow to be photographed.

She said she has all the proper paperwork and that she had a good relationship with the city of Ladue before going to North County.

After seeing the animals, the mayor said, “We encouraged her to talk to the neighbors, to let them know what’s going on around here and that she does come from another neighborhood that was very accepting of these animals. But I think it’s very important for us to check on it and for her to do the same.”

KTVI checked with Ladue and found a municipal court complaint against McBride from June 2020. A court record indicates a citation for “erecting a monkey cage without a permit.”

The city of Creve Coeur also cited McBride in 2019 under a dangerous animal ordinance.

In addition, St. Louis County Health official visited her last month asking for a meeting to go over local ordinances.

KTVI tried to follow up with McBride at her new North County address, but she would give no further comment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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