A local cab driver spotted what is believed to be a capuchin monkey on the loose in Campbell River. File photo

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

Someone somewhere has lost their monkey, and it seems to be roaming the streets of Campbell River.

Early Friday morning, a local cab driver spotted what he believed to be a monkey in the area of Hilchey Road and Eardley Road after it ran in front of his vehicle. He mentioned it over the radio to Bee Line Taxi dispatcher Mary Allin about 2:30 a.m.

“It was just a passing comment that the driver had made,” she says. “We just sort of joked around.”

Allin says the driver knew the animal was not a raccoon or any other creature, even though his glimpse was brief. The animal turned and looked at the driver, who almost ran into it.

“He had to slam the brakes to avoid hitting the animal,” she says, adding, “Not what you’d expect to see.”

In addition to the quick time frame, the driver did not typically use his phone to take pictures, so he did not get an photograph of the animal.

RELATED STORY: Monkey escapes Vancouver Island animal sanctuary

From the description, he gave to Allin, she believes the animal is probably a capuchin, though she is not sure. She heard about another monkey on the loose in a community further south, perhaps the Cowichan Valley and Qualicum Beach, but doubts the animal could have travelled all this way on its own. However, she thinks if it got in a vehicle somehow, it could be the same one.

The conservation officer service was contacted after another worker at the taxi company posted information about the animal sighting on a local Facebook page for lost and found animals, so they are on the lookout for it.

“Somebody lost it and that’s why my co-worker posted it,” Allin says.

At the same time, conservation officers are also looking for a cougar that has been spotted in the Campbell River area.

Eight different species of capuchins are on a list of prohibited alien species, as are several other monkeys, and they are illegal to own unless “grandfathered in” – in other words, owned prior to changing regulations. As part of the Wildlife Act, the Controlled Alien Species Regulation controls the possession, breeding, shipping and releasing of alien species that can pose a risk to the health or safety of people, property, wildlife or wildlife habitat. Anyone seeing the animal should contact the conservation service. They can be reached through the hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

The province did not regulate these kinds of animals until 2009 when it changed the rules and designated more than 1,000 dangerous animals as controlled alien species. Anyone with questions about these species can contact the province at 1-877-855-3222 or email ControlledAlienSpecies@gov.bc.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich man fears tougher moorage policies could cost him his home

Stewart Jackson has been living on a boat off Lillian Hoffar Park for about four years

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

RCMP seek man who allegedly robbed Langford liquor store with a gun

Man described as six to six foot four tall, with slim build and light-coloured skin

Young Island skiers pick up medals at second Teck BC Cup in Prince George

Strathcona Nordic Ski Club athletes nabbed podium finishes

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read