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Puerto Rico Closer To Eliminating Pest Monkeys, Most Euthanized

10/20/11 04:22 PM ET   AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's secretary of natural resources says authorities have removed more than 1,400 non-native monkeys from the island's southwest, where they are considered pests by local farmers.

Daniel Galan Kercado says a program that began in 2008 has reduced the population of rhesus and patas monkeys by more than half. Farmers in the Lajas Valley have long complained that monkeys destroy pineapple and other crops. The primates are descendants of escaped research monkeys and have no natural predators in Puerto Rico.

Project coordinator Ricardo Lopez said Thursday that some captured monkey are relocated to zoos but most are euthanized. They expect to eliminate monkeys from the part of the island by February 2012.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections