In the video below, KY3 News explains that there was some serious monkey business in Springfield, Missouri recently. Charlie, a macaque monkey, left Tayce Nickel, an eight-year-old girl, injured after a brief encounter in a Walmart parking lot.
After spotting the monkey in a nearby car in the lot, Tayce approached it, and the monkey attacked her.
The girl's family claim their daughter was bitten on the forehead, and worry because monkeys are "known to carry tuberculosis, hepatitis B, [and] herpes," her father told KY3 news.
The monkey's owner said the animal was scared and only scratched the girl. According to UPI, owner Vicki Pulley said, "I'm sure he felt threatened when she came into his territory inside the car, and it scared him and he grabbed her hair."
The girl has been prescribed antibiotics and antiviral drugs while the monkey is being tested for diseases at a local veterinarian's office. The monkey's owners were fined for violating a city ordinance by having the monkey.
While they make exciting pets for some, keeping exotic animals can be dangerous. A Connecticut woman, Charla Nash, was severely mauled by a friend's pet chimpanzee two years ago.
Others don't see a problem with exotic pets, especially when it means saving an endangered species. The Huffington Post reported earlier this year on a Florida teenager who shares her bed with a 100-pound adolescent Bengal tiger. Wild Bengal tigers face extinction from a loss of habitat and poaching.
More common pets can be dangerous as well. A dog in Melbourne, Australia recently attacked a four-year-old girl, killing her and leaving two others injured.
HuffPost blogger Jay Weston describes his experience keeping two squirrel monkeys as pets for eleven years, writing, "I do not recommend anyone ever keep a monkey as a pet."