Conn. man charged with owning ape

March 8, 2009 1:59:35 PM PDT
A Connecticut man is scheduled to be in court Monday after being cited for illegally owning an endangered ape. Pierce Onthank, 49, of Fairfield is charged with illegal possession of a pet siamang. A siamang is a type of gibbon that can grow to 1 meter tall.

Authorities say Onthank left the siamang at the Lionshare Zoological Center in Greenwich and Stamford in October while trying to sell his house.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection says he never had a permit for the animal, as required by a 2004 state law.

The charge comes a month after a Stamford woman was mauled by a pet chimpanzee. That incident prompted the state and Congress to consider strengthening laws about exotic pets.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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