Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys superstar, shocked the world last week by posting a photo on Instagram with his pet capuchin monkey and a message that reads “My new best friend… Dallas Bryant world #throwuptheex.” PETA, the animal rights group, were quick to point out that Bryant had no legal rights to hold onto his new “best friend.”
PETA promptly sent a letter to local authorities in Desoto, Texas, urging them to ensure that the tiny capuchin is transferred to an accredited sanctuary. In the letter, PETA noted that possession of monkeys is prohibited within the confines of Desoto, where Bryant resides, unless the owner has been granted a special-use permit, which private citizens such as Bryant are not eligible for.
“Monkeys belong in the wild – not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals just to make a splash on Instagram,” Brittany Peet, PETA’s Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said in a statement. “This baby capuchin was torn away from his mother shortly after birth and needs special care that can now only be provided by wildlife experts who will be able to ensure that he gets the love and attention he deserves.”
PETA claims that it has secured a safe space in Dallas, where an adult female capuchin can act as a surrogate mother figure, while urging Bryant to return his new friend.
Meanwhile, the DeSoto Police Department in Texas has refused to act upon PETA’s letter. They said in a statement that there is no evidence that the monkey is actually in the city of DeSoto.