Early in March of 2007, we received a visit from the Selma Police Department. The officer had found a small monkey roaming Selma. After days of effort, the officer was finally able to trap it on top of a roof. Cheena was friendly and happy to arrive at the relative calm of Critter Creek. Once we reported Cheena to Fish and Game, quite a story began to unravel. The Sanger Police had been plagued with a series of “breaking and entering” reports. However the residents found nothing missing, just their houses ransacked. Finally one day a police officer spied the culprit…a small monkey sitting on a neighbor’s roof. The monkey’s owner was not at home and once contacted claimed the monkey had disappeared. The police contacted Fish and Game and an APB went out for the whereabouts of one small monkey. The Fish and Game warden came and visited Cheena and declared the case solved. Cheena did, indeed, fit the description of the perpetrator.
Long term care of a primate is quite a financial commitment. He requires as balanced a diet as a small child complete with a daily vitamin tablet. The biggest challenge in caring for a monkey is keeping him from getting bored. This requires a weekly environmental enrichment program including grubs, toys stuffed with goodies like raisins and nuts, and tree limbs he can strip and bang around. Being a capuchin, a monkey originally found in tropical South America, Cheena does not appreciate Critter Creek’s winters. He has an insulated bedroom with a heater that helps to warm him on those especially cold nights. His antics are quite entertaining, but he has his preferences when it comes to people. During Open Houses it is necessary to keep people at a distance from him.