Three charged in zoo incident

CNJ Staff

Police charged a man and two juveniles with misdemeanor animal cruelty Friday for feeding hot peppers to primates at the Hillcrest Park Zoo, according to Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney.

The charges stem from a March 30 incident where two families were detained by zoo officials after it was discovered spider monkeys and ring-tailed lemurs had been given hot peppers.

Zoo officials said previously the animals bit into and played with the chili’s, getting the hot oils on their hands. They later experienced burns to their eyes when they rubbed them.

Whitney said the animals have recovered.

The 40-year-old man faces up to 364 days in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000 and the juveniles, 15 and 9, years old will be referred to juvenile probation and parole, Whitney said.