COLUMBIA — An 11-year-old girl is believed to be the second victim of a monkey that bit a 7-year-old boy at Stephens Lake Park on Saturday.
The girl was also bitten Saturday, at the Paws in the Park dog show. Officials from the Columbia/Boone County Health Department believe it was the same monkey, which has been identified as a Rhesus Macaque.
Health department officials are seeking the monkey’s owner and have released a picture of the monkey with a woman who is presumed to own the monkey.
The young girl was advised to see her pediatrician for the treatment of the bite, which broke the skin.
The monkey, if found, will have its blood tested for Simian B and rabies, said Deidre Wood, spokeswoman for the health department. Simian B is also known as Herpes B virus, Wood said.
Wood wouldn’t say what could happen to the monkey if the owner surrenders it for investigation.
The health department and Columbia Animal Control are following several leads to track down the monkey and its owner. Environmental specialists have been sent out to follow these leads, the department said in a news release.
“We have contacted the St. Louis Health Department,” Wood said. “They deal with a lot of cases of monkey bites.”
The original photo sent out by the health department Wednesday obscured the woman’s face holding the monkey. Wood said the image was altered while confirmation was sought that the monkey pictured was the one believed to be responsible for the bites.
That confirmation came Thursday morning, Wood said.