Animals typically arrive at Primarily Primates in Texas, the sanctuary Friends of Animals manages, with little fanfare, but “Carter the Monkey” is an exception.

This rhesus macaque has not only made headlines, but people can even follow his journey from Charlotte, N.C., to PPI on Facebook and on Twitter—his hashtag is #travelmonkey.

Carter first garnered media attention March 25 when he escaped the confines of his cage and his owner’s car in the Carolina Medical Center-University parking lot in Charlotte. He then bit a hospital employee who was trying to capture him and remained on the loose. The following day Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division officers were able to capture Carter, and he was kept in isolation so he could be tested for contagious diseases.

Carter’s owner, Nyeshia Miller, was charged with misdemeanor possession of an animal who is illegal to own in Mecklenburg County, N.C. In August, she surrendered her ownership rights in court in exchange for having the charge dropped. North Carolina has no law that bans exotic animals such as Carter. But Mecklenburg County, like about half the counties in the state, does have exotic animal laws.

While residing at the Animal Control for the last nine months, Carter chose kennel attendant Leslie Wright as his best friend and caretaker. Although Wright was his main caretaker, it took a team of dedicated staff and multiple organizations and a lot of financial support to find a permanent home for Carter, including a $6,000 grant from Bob Barker’s DJ&T Foundation. The money will be used by Primarily Primates for materials to construct Carter his very own green space habitat that is complete with a heated bedroom and a barrel airplane to play with.

Before Wright and another AC&C staff member began driving Carter to PPI on Tuesday, they made sure they fulfilled Carter’s travel requests: bananas, fresh water and his portable DVD player so he can watch his favorite movie “Ice Age” during his trip.

 At PPI, Carter will hopefully be slowly introduced to a female companion, another rhesus macaque named Tori. Interestingly, Tori also lived in North Carolina as a pet monkey and found sanctuary at PPI in March of 2015.

You can sponsor Carter on the Primarily Primates website by choosing “monkeys” on the sponsorship page right here and picking his profile!

Photo Credit: Charlotte Observer

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