Capuchin monkeys. A public restaurant. What could go wrong?
A Stuart, Florida location of Carraba’s Italian Grill has had to enact a no-monkey policy after a regular guest, a 9-month-old monkey named JoJo, bit a child last month. The Miami Herald reports JoJo’s owners often brought him and another Capuchin to the restaurant’s patio, becoming so popular that customers referred to their visits at “Monkey Mondays.”
(The report does not mention whether Banana Daiquiris were on special during Monkey Mondays, a detail whose omission I count as a glaring oversight.)
On July 16, the Herald states, JoJo the monkey’s owners warned an 8-year-old boy and his father who were dining on the patio that the monkey was “being hyper.” The boy then pet the monkey, who was seated in a high-chair at the table. When the boy returned to pet JoJo again later in the meal, the monkey bit the boy on his pinkie finger.
Following a police report, authorities from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the monkey owners’ home, which they found to be a safe and adequate environment for the five monkeys the couple owns. But the FWC did cite the owners for not having JoJo’s rabies shots up to date; the owners say their veterinarian mistakenly told them the rabies vaccine wasn’t required. They have since updated his rabies vaccine, the Herald reports.
As for those Monkey Mondays, Carrabba’s manager Ramona Cook tells the paper they are now cancelled, and henceforth the restaurant patio will only allow “recognized service dogs and ponies.”