Woman Charged After Daughter Scratched By Pet Monkey

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Video report by Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT

Text by Kelly Glista, The Hartford Courant

WATERBURY — A 34-year-old woman whose illegal pet monkey scratched her young daughter is now facing charges from both Waterbury police and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Mariantonia Morales, of Waterbury, was arrested on Tuesday after her daughter went to school with bite and scratch marks on her forehead, police said. When school officials asked the girl what happened, she said she was bitten by the pet monkey.

Morales initially denied keeping the monkey when police arrived at her home, but eventually she admitted that it was caged inside the house.

A DEEP spokesman said that Morales had a marmoset monkey, which is illegal in the state of Connecticut.

Waterbury police charged Morales with risk of injury to a child. She is scheduled to appear in court on March 14.

DEEP charged Morales with illegal possession of a wild animal, a misdemeanor.

The animal is at the Beardsley Zoo in quarantine, according to the DEEP. If it receives a clean bill of health, the monkey will either remain at the zoo or be transferred to another suitable location.

There are no plans to euthanize the animal, the spokesman said.

The marmoset is a Category Two wild animal under DEEP regulations. The state’s laws regarding the possession of primates were changed after a woman was mauled by a 200-pound chimp in Stamford in February 2009.

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