2-year-old boy bit by monkey at Hidalgo County petting zoo

Related Story

A Valley mother said she has a lot of questions about the health status of the monkey she said bit her 2-year-old child.

Elisa Sanchez said she took her son to Bow Champs Exotic Petting Zoo near Edinburg.

“We took him out thinking that it was going to be a fun day,” Sanchez said. “There were llamas, there were goats, our son had a great time feeding those animals."

Sanchez said the fun ended when her son approached the cage containing Chicharo, the zoo’s South African green vervet monkey.

“The monkey was able to reach out, grab him by the neck, pull him in and bite him right above his eyebrow,” Sanchez said, adding that she and her husband immediately grabbed their son and washed his wounds with soap and water.

Petting zoo employees were not around when the attack happened, and the handler later assured Sanchez the monkey was vaccinated, she said

“We still felt uneasy, we were not comfortable,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez later found out the monkey was not fully vaccinated. She paid $250 to get monkey's blood tested; those results are still pending.

Bow Champs Petting Zoo Tour Guide Jorge Garcia said this isn't the first time Chicharo has hurt a customer. The petting zoo is now making changes to prevent more attacks.

“We put a smaller grid fence so that the monkey cannot reach out, and we put a barrier that limits [how close the kids get] to prevent any of this to happen again,” Garcia said.

At the recommendation of a vet, Chicharo was neutered in an attempt to make him calmer.

Garcia said the petting zoo is safe, but visitors need to keep in mind there's still a risk when dealing with wild animals.

Sanchez said she wants other parents to pay attention while visiting the petting zoo.

Watch the video above for the full story. 


7 Days