Monkey business stirs up neighborhood
By: Ryan Tate
Sikeston, MO - More than 50 signed a petition asking the Sikeston City Council to look into monkey attacks on their street.  The petitioners claim the monkey is a danger to adults and children.
Phyllis Gates thinks otherwise.
" He is usually pretty calm. People make him nervous," Gates said. Gates says she bought the monkey in Kansas City five years ago for $5,000.  The monkey's name is Alex.
"I wouldn't say he attacks people, but if he is provoked, he is like other exotic animals, they will attack," Gates said.
Her neighbors say it does not matter if the monkey is provoked, he will attack anyway.
"She cannot control her monkey," Peggy Bearden said. "It attacked my grandson. Part of the material is gone in his shirt." Bearden lives across the street from Gates.
Next door, Gayla Schearf says Alex attacked her.
"They came over to my yard, and the monkey got away. He attacked me after that," Schearf said.
Sikeston City Manager Doug Friend tells Heartland News that it is illegal for someone to own a monkey in Sikeston, but there is an exception in Gates' case, because she owned the monkey before the law was put in place. Friend says the city will look into recent allegations.