On Monday, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) called on Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant to release his pet monkey to wildlife experts and asked the DeSoto, Texas police to investigate whether Bryant was in illegal possession of a monkey. The police department later closed the case, determining that Bryant was not in possession of a monkey within DeSoto’s city limits.
Bryant posted a photo with Dallas, “his new best friend,” last week on Instagram, which caused PETA to become outraged.
“Monkeys belong in the wild — not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals just to make a splash on Instagram,” PETA’s Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet reportedly said. “This baby capuchin was torn away from his mother shortly after birth and needs special care that can now only be provided by wildlife experts who will be able to ensure that he gets the love and attention he deserves.”
PETA’s letter to DeSoto animal control also “cited a municipal code that says that Bryant is not legally eligible to own the monkey unless he has a special-use permit, which usually is granted only to public zoos, schools, retail pet distributors, rodeos or circuses.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, DeSoto police acknowledged that they were “aware of Dez Bryant’s alleged illegal possession of a Capuchin monkey within the city limits of DeSoto, TX.” The police department later said the case was closed after speaking to Bryant’s attorney: “The City Attorney was just contacted by Mr. Bryant’s personal attorney who advised the monkey is NOT in the City of DeSoto. We don’t expect to have any further updates on this matter.”
When Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was asked about the monkey during a Monday press conference, he reportedly said: “I have not met Dallas. Uh, I’ve heard stories that he has a monkey. There has been visual evidence of that.”