CBS News

Monkey Escapes Crate At San Antonio Airport, Eventually Arrives At New Home

May 22, 2018 - 8:09 am

SAN ANTONIO, TX (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- This story is bananas!

A monkey escaped Monday afternoon from a crate at the San Antonio International Airport while being transported from a plane to the baggage area. 

According to CBS affiliate KENS-TV, the monkey, which the San Antonio Zoo later identified as a Rhesus macaque, was on board American Airlines flight 1014 from Chicago. 

Someone in the airport captured video the monkey moving from the American Airlines facilities and towards the United Airlines baggage area, where it was able to evade authorities for almost an hour.

According to police, officials cornered and contained the animal inside a room at the airport around 3:45 p.m. Some flights were delayed due to the "wildlife issue."

American Airlines, the San Antonio Aviation Department and officials from the San Antonio Zoo all responded to the scene to help capture the monkey, who was en route to his new home, an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement.

According to American Airlines, the 10-year-old rhesus macaque monkey, named Dawkins, was flying to San Antonio to be placed at the Born Free Primate Sanctuary in La Salle County, Texas. He was a research animal from Brown University on his way to retire, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports.

By Monday night, Dawkins made it to his new home.

"The hope is to really have his life be as close to being in the wild as possible," said Prashant Khetan with Born Free USA. "We can't replicate what it would be like in Africa, but our goal at the Born Free USA Sanctuary is to get as close as possible."

An airport employee told KENS-TV that employees recently "went wild" trying to chase a loose cat.

"I can only imagine a monkey or baboon going around right now. I'm just glad we caught it and it's safe, but it was pretty hectic for us at the airport today," she said