Losing Pet Monkey is Like Losing a Daughter Says Pet Monkey Owner
ALACHUA COUNTY - It's like losing a daughter without gaining a son-in-law.
That's how one Tampa man with two married daughters describes having to say goodbye to his 12-year-old pet monkey.
Gini Rose -- a Weeper Capuchin monkey who became a couple's honorary daughter for 12 years -- found a new home at Jungle Friend's Primate Sanctuary.
Geoffrey Barnhart said taking care of Gini Rose had gotten too difficult with the death of his wife, increasing health issues and difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments.
He had hoped to take Gini Rose with him to California where he plans to live with his daughter and her family.
But it's illegal to have a pet monkey there, said Barnhart.
That left him with the heartbreaking decision to bring Gini Rose to the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary.
He said he knows his pet has found a good new home, but saying goodbye has been more difficult than he thought.
"I wanna take her back to the house," Barnhart said, holding back tears.
Bringing her to the sanctuary was just the right thing to do, he said.
"It's time for her to be a monkey," said Barnhart.
He has had Gini Rose since she was 5 weeks old. He said the monkey had become more aggressive as she aged, attacking his wife at one point and biting neighbors on three separate occassions.
Pet monkeys are legal in Florida, but staff at the sanctuary say Gini Rose's situation is why residents should think twice before buying a monkey.
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