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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Commissioners discuss exotic animal waiver

  • Leavenworth County has a ban on exotic animals, but county commissioners were asked Thursday if they would be willing to allow a primate in the county.
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  • Leavenworth County has a ban on exotic animals, but county commissioners were asked Thursday if they would be willing to allow a primate in the county.
    Deputy County Counselor Roger Marrs told commissioners he received a call a couple of days earlier from a woman who lives out of state.
    The woman asked if the county allows residents to have small primates. Marrs said the County Commission passed a resolution in 2001 prohibiting exotic animals in unincorporated areas of the county. Primates are among the animals subject to this ban.
    Marrs said the caller asked if the county would grant an exception. The woman apparently recently began caring for a monkey. The monkey, which is 13 years old, was raised by another family that lives in the Kansas City area. But the local government where the previous owners live passed an ordinance that prohibits the monkey.
    Marrs said the caller was checking to see if there was a location in the Kansas City area where the animal would be permitted, which would allow the monkey to be reunited with the family.
    "The animal had bonded with that family," Marrs said.
    Commissioner Clyde Graeber asked if the previous owners would be willing to move into Leavenworth County.
    "Only with the monkey," County Administrator Pat Hurley said.
    Graeber said he would support a waiver if the family that previously owned the animal wanted to move into the county.
    Commissioner Dennis Bixby said he would be against granting a waiver.
    He said a 13-year-old primate could be dangerous, pointing to a case in another state in which a chimpanzee disfigured a woman.
    "I just don't see an upside for Leavenworth County," he said.
    Commission Chairman Bob Holland said he the county has a resolution that states primates aren't allowed.
    "I don't believe this is a case that would benefit the county," he said.
    Holland said he feels primates are dangerous animals.
    Marrs said he will get in touch with the woman who contacted him and let her know of the Commission's response.
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