Baboon on the loose in New Jersey

A baboon seen on top of a car at Cape Point. (AP File Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

July 1, 2011 3:43:02 PM PDT
A baboon is on the loose in New Jersey.

Police say they received two calls Thursday afternoon from people who saw the monkey that resembles the one pictured above.

Amber Bialoglow ran into the monkey while tending to her turtle.

"I saw what looked like a big hairy dog come up behind me so I turned around to look and there was a big monkey staring at me," Bialoglow said.

Two more residents reported Friday morning that a baboon was walking around in their neighborhoods.

"As we are going by I thought what a funny looking animal, I started to say to my daughter, and I said, 'oh, it's the baboon!'" Nancy DiOrio of Freehold, New Jersey said.

That prompted police to surround the area and bring in tranquilizer guns, but the elusive animal remained on the lam.

Stacy Murphy saw the baboon in her backyard.

"Then I looked closely and I instantly went into panic mode, 'oh my God, it's a baboon,'" Murphy said.

Authorities say the baboon may have escaped from the nearby Six Flags Great Adventure's Monkey Jungle. The park has 150 baboons.

Six Flags says it counts all of its animals twice a day except birds and baboons which don't going into housing at night, making it hard to get an exact count.

The Great Adventure baboons are fenced in and implanted with microchips. Park officials say no breaches were found in the fences around Monkey Jungle, and no signs of a potential escape have been found.

Officials say anyone who spots the roaming baboon should call police - and not approach the animal, even though baboons are not typically aggressive.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report