Is there a monkey on the loose on the Outer Banks?

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Sharks, wild horses, wild boar, bears, coyotes, alligators, whales, seals, manatees, snowy owls, the peacock on Kitty Hawk Road, Rocky the runaway serval cat and now … a monkey?

The Outer Banks is full of unusual animal sightings, both wild and not, but what a local resident saw in Southern Shores Monday evening would (most likely) be a first.

“So I was just driving in Southern Shores and a monkey just ran out in front of my car and into the bushes. Did someone lose their monkey or am I losing my mind?!” she wrote on an Outer Banks locals group on Facebook.

The poster described the monkey as the small “Marcel” from “Friends” type, perhaps a Capuchin monkey. It ran out in front of her car near the Southern Shores Fire Department on Dogwood Trail.

Hundreds of comments ensued, full of jokes and “can I have some of what you’re smoking?” along with a few people who thought maybe they saw the monkey too. And plenty of comments mentioned Martins Point resident Brian Hankins, the owner of Rocky the runaway African serval cat, who hasn’t been back home on the Outer Banks since 2018.

Naturally folks wanted to know if Hankins might’ve gotten himself a monkey? But his girlfriend weighed in on the comment thread to say the monkey isn’t his.

A message to Southern Shores Police Chief David Kole inquiring if there were any missing monkey reports in town wasn’t immediately returned Monday night, perhaps because he thought we were crazy when he read the subject line.

A pet Capuchin isn’t entirely out of the question, we suppose. North Carolina is among a handful of states that doesn’t regulate ownership of many exotic species, including monkeys.

So stay tuned, Outer Banks, for monkey updates. And if you see one running around, please send us a picture!

About Kari Pugh 1073 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at