Rotterdam woman looking for her missing monkey


ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local woman is asking for your help as she continues her desperate search for her missing monkey.

She got Austin 11 years ago before the exotic animal ban went into effect, so her permit was grandfathered in.

Now he’s been gone for nearly a month, and with a few recent sightings, she’s holding on to hope.

“He’s not aggressive; he’s just terribly scared right now,” Leona Wisely, owner, said.

Wisely got him when he was just two weeks old.

“They bond to you like you’re their mother, ya know.”

On September 17th, he slipped out of his backyard cage in the middle of a Coldbrook neighborhood and hasn’t been home since.

“He jumped the fence and ran over here.”

There have also been a few reports of a strange, unfamiliar noise.

She says she’s been using recordings of Capuchin calls throughout the neighborhood with hopes that he’ll respond.

She says those who hear or spot him wait too long to call.

“Call me immediately. Don’t wait. Like last night, I got a call from a woman who said she saw him two days ago, well 2 days is too late.”

Leona says the Neighborhood Watch group has been really supportive even giving her tools to help,  like a night vision camera.

She’s also set up traps with some bait set up in several locations, but so far only capturing squirrels and possums.

“I just need him home. I’m getting emotional again, I’m sorry.”

Because it’s cold out Austin might be hiding under decks, in sheds or garages looking for shelter or somewhere warm.

If you see him, don’t approach him; just call (518) 577-7965 or Rotterdam Police. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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