PASO ROBLES, Calif. – An animal at the Conservation Ambassadors Zoo to You near Paso Robles was, quite literally, monkeying around and accidentally called 911 on Saturday night.
"Our deputies have seen their fair share of 'monkey business' in the county. But nothing quite like this," the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.
A Capuchin monkey apparently picked up a cell phone that is used in the zoo's golf cart that travels around the 40-acre site and dialed 911.
“Capuchin monkeys are amazing. There are tool users. They're so smart. She's got thumbs and she's got more than enough ability. She sees me all the time texting and playing with the phone. So I think that's pretty much what she did," said Zoo To You Director, Lisa Jackson.
The Sheriff's Office dispatchers received a 911 call that had disconnected. When dispatchers received no response when they tried to call and text the number back, they went to investigate.
“Our dispatchers tried to respond back, call back, text back, no response. So in cases like that, we always send deputies out to investigate," said SLO County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, Tony Cipolla.
The address traced from the call took officers to the zoo's offices, but they were shocked to learn that no one at the zoo placed the call, the Sheriff's Office said.
"Was someone trying to make us look like a monkey's uncle?" the department wrote in the post. "Then they realized – to must've been Route the Capuchin monkey."
Zoo officials said that Route is known for constantly grabbing whatever she can find and playing it until her handlers make her give it back.
“When the sheriff’s officers showed up, we're like, ‘Hi, officers, what can we help you with?’ And then they told us what happened. And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that was Route.’ And the first thing I said was, ‘I am so sorry.’” said Lisa Jackson.
“The deputies were just flabbergasted... How can you be mad at a little monkey?” said Cipolla.