Monkey bites woman at Moody Gardens

Published On: Jun 20 2012 06:50:27 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 20 2012 06:53:40 PM CDT
GALVESTON, Texas -

Two monkeys were quarantined at Moody Gardens Galveston after a run-in with a woman who was visiting the Rainforest Pyramid.

"Our underlying strategy was to really create something that was as natural as we could possibly make it to really give people a sense they were in the actual rain forest," Greg Whittaker of Moody Gardens said.

Posted signs establish it's not a hands-on experience.

According to Galveston police, a 49-year-old Baytown woman reached up into a tree occupied by a pair of cotton-top tamarins. The pair was a father and son.

When she grabbed one of them, it responded by biting her and let out a distress call, officials said. Investigators said that summoned the other monkey, which then potentially scratched the woman.

Once she let go, both tamarins retreated up the tree.

"By and large, these exotic animals don't make for good pets. They're not cute and cuddly little animals you can pick up and take home. They are wild animals and ambassadors for their species that are having trouble surviving in their environment," Whittaker said.

The visitor was treated for what police described as a minor bite wound.

The monkeys have been quarantined for 30 days, as mandated by the state.