Monkey Business: Simian Sighted in Marin -- But S.F. Monkeys Tend to Stay in Zoo

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Not seen in these parts...
The news that multiple witnesses have spotted what appears to be a monkey tooling around Novato takes the wind out of San Francisco's sails. Nothing is supposed to happen in Novato -- that's why people move to Novato. We're the place that ought to have wild animals gallivanting around the streets.

Yet it appears the city's streets have been safely monkey free for quite some time now. Carl Friedman, who oversaw the city's Animal Control for 20 years until January said he couldn't recall ever being involved in a monkey incident. Kat Brown, Animal Control's current deputy director, added that "we have yet to see any monkeys running around."

That being said, not long ago a protester at a demonstration had some monkeys "dressed up as part of a protest." Animal Control officers investigated and found the primates' handler did not have a permit. So we've got that going for us.

But while San Francisco has been a simian-free zone according to animal experts, that doesn't mean odd creatures can't be found here. Friedman recalls several instances where his office was called to deal with deer that crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and were running through the Presidio. Any manner of large snakes have been corralled in recent years by Animal Control officers and -- this one is fantastic -- a congregation of albino rabbits a group of stoners out by Candlestick Park assumed were hallucinations turned out to be quite real. Astoundingly, the stoners managed to call Animal Control.

San Francisco, incidentally, is more restrictive of what sort of animals you are allowed to house as pets than neighboring cities (Police Code Section 486 clearly states that it "shall be unlawful to feed or offer food to any Red Masked Parakeet in any park of the City and County of San Francisco." You've been warned!).

Boa constrictors, and other exotic reptiles legal in the East Bay, are not permitted here. Rabbits and chicks can be sold as pets in San Mateo -- but not here (this is to stave off Easter novelty animals being abandoned in city parks).

If you're feeding rabbits and chicks to your boa in San Francisco -- you're busted. If you're feeding the snake monkeys -- you're a dead man.
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