Bug the capuchin monkey is back home after escaping from the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue in Adams County after a fire.
Bug the capuchin monkey is back home after escaping from the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue in Adams County after a fire.

After a couple of days of freedom, Bug is back in the safe confines of his cage, and he couldn't be happier.

"He's healthy and back in his cage," said Melissa Bishop, a volunteer at the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue near Fairfield, Adams County. "He couldn't wait to get back in his cage."

The capuchin monkey got free in the chaos during a fire at the rescue on Saturday and had been on the lam since.

A neighbor found Bug on her deck of all places Monday evening and called 911.

Sherri Bell said her husband heard a noise coming from the deck and looked out the window of their home on Ridge Trail, which is near the Hamiltonban Township rescue, to find a monkey eating from a bowl of cat food.

"It was crazy," Bell said. "He (Bug) was just climbing around on the deck."

Found: In an effort to keep Bug calm and to entice him to stick around until his owners showed up, Bell and her husband fed him lemons and handed him a bottle of water.

Knowing food is a way to monkey's heart, Bishop and fellow volunteer Sue March grabbed snacks — marshmallows and Cool Ranch Doritos — and headed over to Bell's home.

Though a little skittish at first, Bug caught sight of the marshmallows March had, and the two were reunited.

"He ran and jumped into her arms," Bishop said.

Bell said she had been on the lookout for the monkey after she learned of his escape. She figured she'd find him in a wooded area behind the house, not on her deck.


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"I'm just glad he's back," Bell said. "The fire was tragic enough. I was just hoping they'd get their monkey back."

The fire: A building at the rescue burned down early Saturday. Two residents escaped, and most of the animals were saved from the fire. Two cats died.

Fairfield Fire Chief Adam Jacobs says the fire was likely caused by a wireless router that shorted out and ignited some papers.

Since the blaze, the community has rallied around the rescue and have stepped forward to help raise money to rebuild the rescue.

Collection jars have been placed in local businesses, and a car wash and bake sale, with proceeds going to the rescue, will be held later this month, Bishop said.

Despite the loss of the building, Bishop is taking everything in stride and is taking each win, such as Bug's coming home, as she can get it.

"Everything else is just stuff. Getting Bug back was a big priority for us," she said. "Now we can just focus on rebuilding."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.