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Wayward Baboon Captured In Howell, Brought Back To Six Flags

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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) – A wayward baboon that has been on the loose in central New Jersey for three days has been captured.

Howell police say they caught the baboon Saturday afternoon. It appeared to be unharmed when it was found and then tranquilized on a farm in Howell Township.

Jim Hosie had heard about the baboon but didn’t give it much thought as he bailed hay with a worker on his farm in Howell.

“It walked right by here, and it jumped right up in that window,” he told 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan.

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan spoke to the Howell farmer that spotted the baboon

The baboon then made its way into a second barn and hid in the hay as police and animal control officials tranquilized it.

“He came through here, then he went under that shredder,” described Alain Robillard. “That’s the last I saw of him.”

Robillard was suddenly surprised when the baboon showed up on his farm. “All of a sudden the baboon is behind it,” he said. “You turn around I see the baboon.”

So his instincts kicked in and Robillard grabbed a bale of hay to protect himself.

 “I don’t know what he’s going to do, if he’s going to attack you or what,” he said.

Within a few minutes, police and animal rescue were on the scene, capturing the primate that spent three days running wild, frightening neighbors and even gaining a Twitter following.

Even though the baboon seemed mild-mannered when it was carried away, Robillard says looks are deceiving.

“It was pretty big. He looked like was about two and a half feet high, looked pretty wide,” he said.

Exactly how the baboon escaped is a big question.

Six Flags Great Adventure representatives confirmed that the baboon, an adolescent female, was theirs. They said the animal was in good shape when it returned to the park.

Kristen Siebeneicher, the park’s communications director, said the baboon will be quarantined for two weeks and have a thorough exam before being placed back in the Monkey Jungle.

Siebeneicher said all Great Adventure baboons are vaccinated, fenced in and implanted with microchips. Siebeneicher said the animals are not counted daily because they sleep outside in the Monkey Jungle preserve.

“We’re certainly taking this opportunity to review our facility and our procedures and we’ll make any changes necessary that we feel is warranted,” she said.

The baboon was spotted earlier Saturday at Freehold Township before it was captured. Police there said they received numerous calls from motorists and residents who saw the baboon.

Police and park officials started looking for it Thursday after a driver saw it near Interstate 95 near Jackson Township.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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