It should have been just another normal day of work for this Home Depot employee. Little did she know, she would end the day attacked by a monkey.
Marilyn Howard, 51, sustained several bites and a scratch across her face from a pet spider monkey on Monday, June 4, outside of a Home Depot in Okeechobee, according to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office. She was in the break area outside the store when she heard shouts from her co-workers about a monkey, thinking it was a joke.
"She suddenly saw the monkey walking down the parking lot towards her and noticed it had a leash,'' the report said.
The pet had escaped from the truck of its owner, Tina Ballard, while she was inside Home Depot.
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Howard grabbed the leash and the monkey climbed up onto her back, biting her twice on the back before dismounting. She grabbed hold of the leash again, walking toward the front of the store in hopes of finding the monkey's owner.
As the glass doors slid open, the monkey got scared and bit her on the arm and hand and left two gashes on the left side of her face.
Howard refused medical attention, but said she would go to the hospital on her own to be evaluated, the report said.
Ballard regained control of her pet monkey, but not before police and state wildlife officers got involved. The case was transferred to Animal Control and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, whose officers arrived on the scene after being contacted by responding officers.
Fish and Wildlife law enforcement is investigating the incident, said Robert Klepper, a spokesperson for the agency's law enforcement division.
The owner still has the monkey while the case is being looked into, he noted.