STUART, Fla. — Monkeys will no longer be allowed at one Florida Carrabba’s Italian Grill after what one did to an 8-year-old, the Miami Herald reports.
Mary and Richard Van Houten had a weekly tradition of eating on the patio at Carrabba’s with two of their pet monkeys on Mondays. The tradition was so popular, staff and regulars at the restaurant referred to it as “Monkey Mondays.”
That tradition came to an end last month when their 9-month-old capuchin JoJo bit an 8-year-old boy’s finger, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission obtained by the Herald.
A parent approached the Van Houtens on July 16 asking if their 8-year-old son Jaxson could pet JoJo. The Van Houtens allowed it but warned the parent that JoJo was hyper.
When the family was leaving, Jaxson went back to JoJo and “grabbed [her] trying to play,” according to the report.
The monkey got scared and bit the boy’s finger. The boy jerked away, causing a cut.
Jaxson was taken to the hospital where doctors cleaned the cut and let him go home.
Investigators checked the Van Houtens home and said proper care for their pet monkeys was evident. The only issue was that JoJo wasn’t up to date on its rabies vaccine. The Van Houtens said their veterinarian told them it wasn’t a recognized vaccine for Florida monkeys, which is incorrect.
The couple was cited for JoJo not being up to date on the rabies vaccine and for an exotic pet biting someone.