• Another monkey found distressed in the car was severely dehydrated
  • Waterpark management found the dead monkey and informed the police
  • Police may add further charges after completing the investigation

Two people have been charged with animal cruelty after the police found a dead monkey inside a hot car near a Tennessee Waterpark.

Another distressed 5-week-old marmoset monkey was found alongside the dead 9-week-old monkey inside the vehicle outside Soaky Mountain Waterpark, 175 Gists Creek Road, Sevierville.

On June 23 at around 4:30 p.m., the waterpark management called the police after noticing a dead monkey inside a vehicle, reported WATE.

"When officers arrived, they found a nine-week-old marmoset monkey deceased in a car in the parking lot. Another marmoset monkey was also in the vehicle," said Sevierville Police Department in a statement on Facebook.

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According to the police, the outside temperature around the area when the animals were found was about 87 degrees. The cause of the death could be the extreme heat inside the car, said the police, reported New York Daily News.

During summers, the interior temperature inside a vehicle can rise from 80 degrees to 114 degrees within 30 minutes, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

The 5-week-old monkey found distressed in the car was taken to Appalachian Animal Hospital in Morristown for treatment. The police said that the younger monkey suffered from dehydration, but its condition was improving.

"They have real specialized diets, specialized social structures, and that sort of thing," animal expert Phil Colclough with Zoo Knoxville told WATE. "With any animals, you got to look at that and duplicate that under our care, with primates sometimes that’s a little more difficult."

The two 54-year-old owners are from Warsaw, Indiana. While Nova Brettell is facing charges for aggravated animal cruelty, David Paul Brettell has been booked for animal cruelty, police said. Police are investigating the incident and say that additional charges could be pressed if required.

“In the hands of unprepared or incompetent caretakers, many exotic animals die or are abandoned,” according to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) statement. “Other people try to return unwanted animals to their natural homes or abandon them outdoors. Without appropriate habitats or rehabilitation, these animals will starve or fall victim to the elements or predators,” it said on its website.

PETA also warns that exotic animals kept in captivity can also lash out and harm the owners.

Last week, a pet chimpanzee was shot dead in Oregon by an officer after it attacked and severely injured its owner’s daughter.

A woolly monkey holds the hand of the director of the Maikuchiga foundation, Jhon Jairo Vasquez, in Leticia, Colombia
Monkey | Representational Image AFP / Raul ARBOLEDA