A woman is recovering from serious injuries after she was attacked by a monkey outside of her home in southern Oklahoma on Sunday, authorities say.
The woman, Brittany Parker, told CBS affiliate KXII that she was inside the house when she noticed the animal on her front porch. Parker said she initially called family members to show them the unexpected visitor.
"I had actually FaceTimed some family and I was like, 'Look there's a monkey,'" she told KXII, which aired video footage of the primate climbing across outdoor furniture at Parker's home. "He was pacing back and then he was jumping off of my railing and hitting my storm door."
A Dickson woman says the monkey showed up on her front porch before attacking her, nearly ripping her ear off. https://t.co/3Ugp6vYEL1— KXII News 12 (@KXIITV) March 14, 2023
Parker said the animal tore off part of the door handle, which prompted her to call 911, KXII reported. Officers with the Dickson Police Department, as well as the game warden from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department, arrived to find the monkey still on the porch, the police department said in a news release. But, as officers exited their patrol vehicle, they say the animal moved toward them and "jumped on the rear" of the car.
Parker told KXII that she could see the interaction between officers and the monkey from inside her home, and recalled thinking the animal was acting friendly, so she stepped outside with her son.
"The monkey then ran towards the victim and climbed onto her," the Dickson Police Department said. Parker told KXII that the animal pulled out her hair before attacking her right ear, which was severely injured.
"He crawled up my back, yanked out multiple wads of hair and then ripped my ear in half," Parker said. "It was just hanging."
She was initially transported to a local emergency room before being moved to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, about 100 miles away in Oklahoma City, for treatment, police said. Parker said that her doctors were concerned about whether she could lose hearing even as the ear heals.
After the attack, police said the monkey ran into a wooded area and officers lost track of it. While they continued to search for the animal, additional officers found and contacted the monkey's owners, who attempted to capture it themselves but were unsuccessful, police said. The animal was ultimately shot and killed by Parker's family member and its body was sent to the Oklahoma Disease Laboratory for testing. Police say an investigation into the attack is ongoing.
Oklahoma laws do not prohibit residents from owning most exotic animals, although there are regulations for owning certain native species of bears and cats. Still, Dickson Police Chief Tim Duncan said that after two decades with the department, Sunday's call was his first involving a loose monkey.
"It's Oklahoma. It happens. We get animal calls all the time," he told KXII. "Monkeys are not a normal thing for us."
Because Parker "was injured pretty badly," the police chief said that his department will send the case report to the district attorney's office, "and from there, they'll make the final decision on what they want to do with this case."