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New Jersey Baboon Said To Be Frightened And On The Move

JACKSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- - Don't monkey with this baboon.

There were several reported sightings of the animal in Jackson. While it is not clear where the baboon came from, it likely escaped from the nearby Six Flags Great Adventure safari park, which houses about 150 of them.

The animal -- said to be frightened -- is also on the move, according to law enforcement officials.

Jackson Township Police Captain David Newman told 1010 WINS that the baboon was last seen near a golf course in Freehold, which is about 10 miles from where it was first spotted in Jackson.

1010 WINS' Kathleen Maloney With The Latest On The Baboon


The baboon was able to run away into some woods before it could be tranquilized.

Lynn Martin said she spotted an unusual animal fifty yards away in a wooded area behind her home in Jackson around 10 a.m. Friday morning.

"I just ran inside with the kids. I don't know if they attack or whatever, I don't know," Martin told CBS 2's Wendy Gillette.

Martin's sighting was the third report of someone seeing a baboon over two days in the area -- one was seen at  suburban home and another near Interstate 195.

Officials from Six Flags have joined in the search, but have turned up nothing.  A park spokeswoman told CBS 2 there was no exact count of the baboons because they sleep outside -- so it's unclear if one escaped from the safari.

Neighbors have expressed concern.

"I think it's horrible. Because they should know how many animals they have over there. They're wild animals. I mean I live a mile...from Great Adventure and now they're in my backyard," Michael Baumert said.

It's also possible the baboon could have been someone's pet and escaped.

"We are working closely with personnel from Great Adventure from their Safari and we have not yet determined the origin of this animal," Newman said earlier Friday.

Meanwhile, a tongue-in-cheek Twitter account created by a person tweeting as the baboon had quickly drawn numerous followers. The poster was sharing humorous anecdotes of its travels, including stops at local restaurants and numerous attractions along the Jersey Shore.

Among the posted remarks was one stating: "I mean Six Flags is cool and all, but I'm ready for a vacation -- Let's do this."

Residents are urged not to approach the baboon if they see it. Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 732-928-1111.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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