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Missing Macaque Wanders Walterboro

Primate makes national news …

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A fifteen-year-old Japanese macaque named Bradley has had the run of Walterboro, South Carolina for the last five days – becoming a social media sensation and sparking national media coverage. However, intense public interest in the missing primate is purportedly hindering efforts to rescue him.

According to a news release from Colleton County’s animal services division, Bradley “escaped from his habitat where he’s lived for almost six years” last Thursday (May 23, 2024). The animal’s owner – who runs a local funeral home – “immediately contacted” animal services director Laura Clark, indicating he felt he would be able to catch Bradley and bring him home using his own resources.

As of this writing, however, Bradley remains on the loose – with local law enforcement issuing warnings to citizens to keep watch over their animals.

“There is a primate on the loose that could be stressed and we ask you to not approach it,” a statement from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) noted.

Not everyone is heeding that counsel, however.

“Animal control and the sheriff’s office have received numerous tips as to Bradley’s location but because of the attention this situation has caused on social media and on news channels, people who are trying to get a look at Bradley are sadly hampering the owner’s efforts to catch him,” Clark said. “Professionals have been hired to help bring him home and our animal control team is assisting with efforts as well to return him to the safety of his habitat.”

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Japanese macaques – a.k.a. “snow monkeys” (Macaca fuscata) – are highly intelligent primates. They excel at climbing, swinging and swimming. Males average approximately 25 pounds and can live for up to thirty years.

Bradley’s exploits have been chronicled on ‘Walterboro Word of Mouth,’ a local Facebook page that gained national prominence during the 2023 double homicide trial of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh.

Not everyone in the town of nearly 6,000 is happy with all the attention being paid to the saga, however.

“I’m sick of seeing this crap,” one resident complained on the page.

Others indicated they were enjoying the “distraction.”

“Thank you runaway monkey for giving us a break from negative food reviews and creating a fun topic to make jokes about,” another resident wrote. “I’m having a great time.”

Nonetheless, in addition to allegedly hampering search and rescue efforts the flurry of interest has spawned all manner of misinformation – similar to what transpired during the Murdaugh trial. For example, one resident reported – erroneously – that Bradley had been “shot and stuffed.”

(Click to View)

Missing Macaque
Bradley the macaque seen on the porch of a Walterboro, S.C. resident. (Colleton County Animal Services)

With frivolity dominating the discussion, Walterboro residents have had to make it clear they are seeking accurate, verifiable information regarding the status of the missing primate.

“What’s the latest on the baboon?” one resident inquired. “No joking but a real update?”

That’s a good question …

As soon as we get an answer, we will pass it along to our audience.

In the meantime, anyone with information on the missing primate’s whereabouts is encouraged to call 843-898-6113 – a special temporary hotline established by Colleton County’s animal services division. While Bradley is not considered dangerous, animal control officials have asked citizens to keep their distance from him.

“The community is very engaged with this issue and we hope that they will reach out and help us find Bradley and return him to his home,” Clark said.

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UPDATE |

Missing Macaque Captured

BANNER VIA: Tiffany Edenfield/ Walterboro Word of Mouth

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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