Search is on for primate swinging through Texas town after ‘credible’ video surfaces, cops say

A primate is on the run in a Texas town, and search teams are trying to bring in the animal, media outlets report.

Police in Santa Fe, a town south of Houston, have searched the past two days for the animal after viewing a video recording they deemed to be credible, the Galveston County Daily News reported.

The animal was “spotted swinging through trees in the city,” the newspaper reported.

An animal shelter is also looking for the monkey. Bayou Animal Services has a “team of experts” on the case, according to a news release on Facebook. The search team hasn’t determined the type of monkey and hasn’t spotted the animal yet, the shelter said in the news release.

The animal shelter warned residents that primates can be dangerous.

“Do not approach, chase or try and catch a primate if you have sighted said loose monkey,” Bayou Animal Services said in a news release on Facebook. “A team that is certified in dealing with primates is on the ground now helping us locate the animal. Do not interfere. Do not attempt to help. They are professionals and know what they are doing.”

It’s unclear what type of primate the animal is.

According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman, the animal is a chimpanzee, KTRK reported.

That hasn’t been confirmed by police or Bayou Animal Services.

The shelter contacted people with licenses to keep primates in the area and none of the animals was missing, according to KTRK. The search team is using recorded primate “calls” and a drone in the search in a wooded area, the Houston TV station reported.

A reporter for the Galveston County Daily News tweeted that police haven’t confirmed any attacks.

“I’m not saying that there is no monkey,” Lt. Greg Boody told KTRK. “In fact, I’m sure there is one on the loose. Out here, anything is possible.”

Meanwhile, people on social media showed concern for the well-being of the animal because of the possibility it will be tranquilized.

Others compared it to the beginning of “Planet of the Apes” or the sci-fi thriller “Outbreak.”

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.