Pet mon­key at cen­ter of Brown’s le­gal trou­bles

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Martha Ross [email protected]­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact Martha Ross at 925-943-8254.

It goes without say­ing that Chris Brown is no stranger to le­gal trou­bles, from ac­cu­sa­tions of as­sault­ing women, in­clud­ing Ri­hanna, to brawl­ing with fel­low en­ter­tain­ers such as Drake or be­ing sub­ject to pro­ba­tion and re­strain­ing or­ders.

Now the singer is in trou­ble for some­thing that last year raised the ire of an­i­mal lovers and the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife. Brown, 29, was caught own­ing a ca­puchin mon­key for which he didn’t have a per­mit.

TMZ re­ported Thurs­day that the Los An­ge­les City At­tor­ney has charged Brown with two mis­de­meanor counts of hav­ing a re­stricted species without a per­mit, crimes se­ri­ous enough that they carry a max­i­mum sen­tence of six months in jail. Brown is due in court on Feb. 6.

Brown ac­tu­ally in­crim­i­nated him­self in De­cem­ber 2017 when he posted a video to In­sta­gram show­ing his 3-year-old daugh­ter Roy­alty cud­dling the mon­key, named Fiji.

Fish and Wildlife Capt. Pa­trick Foy told USA To­day in Jan­uary that the video prompted a half- dozen calls from peo­ple con­cerned about the girl’s safety and the mon­key’s wel­fare. State agents launched an in­vesti- gation and served a search war­rant at Brown’s home to re­trieve the an­i­mal.

Brown wasn’t home when agents vis­ited, but he agreed to co­op­er­ate and had em­ploy­ees hand over the mon­key in a cage. Fiji was taken and housed at an undis­closed fa­cil­ity.

Ca­puchin mon­keys, na­tive to Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, are among a long list of re­stricted an­i­mals un­der Cal­i­for­nia state law. That means it’s il­le­gal to im­port, trans­port or pos­sess these species without a per­mit is­sued by the Fish and Wildlife depart­ment.

Ca­puchins, of­ten weigh­ing less than 10 pounds, are con­sid­ered among the most in­tel­li­gent of the Western Hemi­sphere mon­keys. They also are “charm­ing” as ba­bies and need to be cared for like hu­man ba­bies, ac­cord­ing to The Spruce Pets.

Ac­cord­ing to Pri­mar­ily Pri­mates, a non­profit refuge in Texas for non-na­tive wild an­i­mals, ca­puchins and other pri­mates of­ten are aban­doned by pri­vate own­ers who can’t take care of them.

U.S. fed­eral quar­an­tine laws for­bid im­port­ing non­hu­man pri­mates as pets, while Cal­i­for­nia and other states ban pri­vate pos­ses­sion of them without a per­mit, Pri­mar­ily Pri­mates re­ported.

KEVIN WIN­TER — GETTY IMAGES FOR RA­DIO.COM

Pop singer Chris Brown was caught own­ing a ca­puchin mon­key for which he didn’t have a per­mit.

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