Monkeys in Louisiana

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 14th, 2006

With all the talk here on Cryptomundo lately of monkeys, I found this article very interesting.

Monkeys in Morehouse? Residents swear they’ve seen primates
Bastrop (LA) Daily Enterprise: 11 Nov. 2006

Louisiana Monkey

Alligators living in the sewers of New York City.

Remember "Mikey," the kid in the Life cereal television ads in the 1970s? He died when he drank a carbonated drink in the 1980s after eating Pop Rocks candy.

Urban legends. Great stories with little if any truth in their makeup.

There’s what has become a rural legend in parts of Morehouse Parish.

There’s a monkey in them thar woods.

Folks will swear they saw them. Wayne Warner saw one on Knox Ferry Road. Brett Smith saw one too, miles away from Warner’s sighting, on Lum Day Road.

When you start talking about primates in the parish, people get kinda skeptical.

"If I tell you I saw a monkey," Warner says, "then I saw a monkey."

And most folks who know Warner agree.

"If Mr. Wayne says he saw a monkey, I believe him," says Mike Tubbs. "He’s a real standup, honest man."

And Warner isn’t the only one who claims to have seen a primate in these parts.

Dewanna Smith’s husband Brett came home a couple of months ago and told her he’d seen one on Lum Day Road, off the Crossett Highway.

"I told him ‘Brett, you’ve been working graveyard and it was dark,’" Dewanna says. "He says he swears it was a monkey. I was picking at him, but I believe him. And I sure believe Mr. Wayne."

A spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Monroe says though the he hadn’t heard specifically about the Morehouse monkeys, he doesn’t doubt the authenticity of the reports. He says people buy them as pets, realize they aren’t meant to be domesticated and turn them into the wild. He also says (another legend perhaps?) that there are literally communities of monkeys is south Louisiana where boy monkeys met girl monkeys and made baby monkeys.

Justin Lee, an enforcement agent for the LDWF in Morehouse Parish, says he’s heard the stories but has never seen either alleged monkey.

"It’s almost like black panthers," Lee says. "You hear stories about black panthers in Louisiana. I know we have panthers, but I have never seen a black panther. And I’ve heard stories about the monkeys. I’m familiar with both of those areas (Lum Day Road and Knox Ferry Road), but I’ve never seen a monkey."

Warner said he heard stories during the summer of 2005 about people who thought they’d seen a monkey. His actual sighting came last fall, and it could have come two days after another sighting.

"About two days before I saw that one, I saw something cross the road in about the same spot that I thought must’ve been a dog," Warner says. "It was about 150 yards down the gravel part of Knox Ferry where I saw him. And I know what I saw that time. I saw a monkey."

After he started sharing his sighting with others in the area, Warner says people started relating their own stories. There was Paul Sander’s son who said he got about five feet from the animal. Sanders’ son said the primate had markings on its tail and face that led him to believe it was a lemur.

"Then there was another old boy who told me he thought he’d seen one but said he wasn’t about to say anything about it because folks would have thought he was crazy or lying," Warner says.

Lee said primates are herbivores, who eat leaves and fruit. He said there is more than adequate vegetation in the area to support a monkey.

"They could survive or even thrive in this type environment," Lee said.

Thursday afternoon, a hunter was coming out of the woods along Mason Cave Road. The man, who asked not to be identified, said he’d heard Warner’s story. And like others, he vouched for Warner’s credibility. He then posed a question that bears repeating.

"Don’t you think a boy monkey would get awfully lonely out here by himself?"

Who knows, there may be a community of monkeys in them thar woods.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

14 Responses to “Monkeys in Louisiana”

  1. Beansly responds:

    I wouldn’t be surprised. I think there are some monkey farms down south who raise them for pets. I know there are some in florida, for sure, I’ve seen them online.

  2. cor2879 responds:

    Is it possible, however unlikely, that some Central American monkeys might be migrating or expanding their territory to parts further north? I realize they’d have some desert to cross (or are there parts of central and northern Mexico that aren’t desert?)

    I know it’s a long shot and the escapee theory is the far more likely explanation but I just thought I’d throw it out there.

  3. LSU_Crypto responds:

    I find it higly unlikely that this is anything besides escaped/released pets.

    Morehouse parish is mostly pine woods with some hard bottom lands. It is also in the extreme northeast corner of Louisiana. It freezes there and sometimes snows. If this story had come from Terrebonne Parish or one of the other coastal parishes I could see more credibility.

  4. JRC responds:

    If they are there, then they are escaped pet/captive animals. It’s the same story with monkeys, iguanas, and pythons in Florida.

  5. raisinsofwrath responds:

    If Wayne says he saw a monkey then by golly Wayne saw a monkey!

    OK! Wrap it up! We can all go home!

  6. hrybeast responds:

    Back in the pre-marriage days when I was freelancing, I stopped in a little panhandle Fla. town that was nearly overrun with monkeys. The farm-hatchery-kennel-monkey mill went out, turned the critters loose, and they thrived.

    We have Marine Corps-pets-gone-wild cockatiels in the Pinhook area of Duplin County, NC, that survive our freezes. Theoretically, primates should be able to fare better than tropical birds.

    And by cracky, if Wayne says he saw a monkey…

  7. I_M_NOT_A_Yarwen responds:

    Are we talking monkeys or chimps? We have all seen the pictures of the snow monkeys in Japan, but can chimps live in colder regions?

  8. crgintx responds:

    There’s no reason’s that primates even as large as gorillas couldn’t survive or adapt to colder climates. Other mammals of similar size do such as bears and tigers. Many primates are nocturnal as well or can operate just as well in the dark as well as light.

  9. bill green responds:

    hey Craig very interesting new article.

  10. alanborky responds:

    Is it me, or is the tone of this article ambivalent at best, sneering at worst? He says, “When you start talking about primates in the parish, people get kinda skeptical”, but then immediately quotes “Warner” – note the absence of a less aggressive “Wayne” or respectful “Mr.” – as saying, “If I tell you I saw a monkey, then I saw a monkey”, an antagonized response which is the very antithesis of skeptical, so is the author being sarcastic and thus betraying his own skepticism? In short, he’s getting in so many cynical little digs it makes you wonder how much more interesting and informative this report could’ve been.

  11. Raptorial responds:

    I live in Southwest Louisiana. I’ve heard reports of both black panthers and monkeys from around here, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we have hidden primates in this lovely state of ours.

  12. Mnynames responds:

    Since the reporter pulls the urban legend card, it bears repeating that there WERE alligators in the New York sewers, or at least several newspaper accounts of them, back in 1932-35. Less people would bring that up, I think, if they knew there was actually some evidence for it.

  13. shumway10973 responds:

    Are most Americans oblivious to the fact that

    1) North America had its share of cousins to African animals?

    2) there are several animals living along our southern parts that originated from South America?

    Ok, I understand that with the first point, most of the animals I mentioned died out about 2,000 years ago when a volcano erupted, but what’s to say that some monkeys didn’t survive and man’s ego wouldn’t allow us to believe primates lived in North America? Isn’t that pretty much why we are on this website to begin with? As far as the second, I’m of course talking about ones like the armadillo and a few others, most of which are expert swimmers or we know that they probably floated on a log or something like that. Isn’t there suppose to be mini bigfoots or orangutans in the swamps of Louisiana?

  14. bywbatonrougecrypto responds:

    I’ll take the case. My friend Jamie and I might go up there and set-up a couple kennels with string on the door and a bunch of stuff i saw the monkeys getting fed from the kitchen when I was at zoo camp at Brec. Also, my dad had an encounter with a panther somewhere here in LA like 20 years or so back. Coincidentily, he had one with a monkey when he was a boy living in Missisipi, but it escaped from a traveling circus. Bizarre but true. LSU_Crypto, you’re welcome to come.

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