(SANTA FE, Texas) — A chimpanzee is on the run in Texas and not letting anyone get in its way, officials said on Tuesday.
The animal, which has been on the loose since Monday, has been harassing people and dogs, as well as trying to take cats in the Santa Fe area, according to Houston ABC station KTRK-TV.
However, the Bayou Animal Services shelter wrote on Facebook that they do not have reports that the chimpanzee is harassing animals. The shelter also did not specifically say that the animal was a chimpanzee and just described it as a monkey.
But a spokesman for the Texas Park and Wildlife confirmed to ABC News the animal on the loose was in fact a chimpanzee.
The shelter, located in the city of Dickinson, offered tips to anyone who comes across the chimp, including not to approach or try to catch the animal and not to go out searching for it.
“The safety of residents, and the animal are top priority. Please allow the primate team to do their job, and please keep phone lines free in order for us to take actual verifiable reports,” the shelter wrote on Facebook.
Santa Fe police and Galveston County authorities are leading the search for the animal. Following calls from citizens, the department said it spent “approximately an hour and a half” Tuesday searching for the animal, after doing the same one day earlier, but could not find it either time.
“The Santa Fe Police Department has been unable to substantiate that there is a primate on the loose, or that anyone has been attacked,” police said in a statement. “Please see the Santa Fe Police Department’s Facebook page for information on what to do and don’t do should someone come in contact with a primate.”
Police wrote on Facebook that they were “looking into this matter.”
It was not immediately clear how the chimp escaped, or from where.
The animal shelter told KTRK that all residents in the area who have the required permit to own a chimp have not reported their animal missing.
Chimpanzees are one of humans closest relatives and share about 98% of their genes with people.
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