This Monkey Escaped Its Crate and Ran Around an Airport for 2 Hours

Nothing lends itself to complete chaos like a monkey on the loose in an airport. On Monday, baggage handlers on the tarmac of San Antonio International Airport had to contend with a very evasive and determined monkey, which managed to dodge their clutches for two hours before its handlers could wrangle it back to safety. 

The animal was en route to a San Antonio-area wildlife sanctuary after taking off on an American Airlines flight traveling from Logan International Airport in Boston that made a stop in Chicago, ABC affiliate KSAT 12 reported. Media reports initially misidentified the creature as a baboon. It was later confirmed to be a rhesus macaque. Either way, it was a wayward primate that outfoxed its human counterparts for two whole hours. 

While news of the rogue primate escaping its crate spread online, the sanctuary Born Free USA identified the animal as Dawkins, the rhesus macaque scheduled to arrive at its San Antonio facility later that day. 

Born Free USA worked with the city's Animal Care Services and airport staff to coax the monkey back into its cargo crate after applying a tranquilizer. This, of course, happened two hours after the primate led authorities on an epic hunt throughout the airport, hopping on baggage carousels and slipping through all sorts of elusive doorways and under various machinery. 

American Airlines later confirmed that Dawkins' joyride came to an end and was finally being transported to the sanctuary writing in a statement: "American Airlines, the San Antonio Aviation Department and officials from the San Antonio Zoo all worked in conjunction to ensure his safety and wellbeing as he continues his journey to his new home."

Dawkins' reportedly made no contact with any travelers during his brief but chaotic sojourn at the airport. 


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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster