Monkeys are very cute, but they don’t always make great pets. Remember — there was a reason why Ross Geller had to send his beloved Marcel to the zoo on Friends (and those two had a pretty strong connection). Unfortunately, IRL, a restaurant had to cancel their popular “Monkey Mondays” after someone’s beloved pet monkey went out of control.
The event happened at a Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Stuart, Florida. Mary and Richard Van Houten, who own five monkeys, typically bring a few around on Mondays to hang outside with diners. According to GrubStreet, the staff didn’t mind the tradition — and even grew to appreciate it. “Hanging out with monkeys” usually isn’t a dinner requirement many have, but hey — it can be a real perk.
Unfortunately, a young capuchin named JoJo was brought during the last Monkey Monday, and he couldn’t handle the ordeal. JoJo was reportedly agitated from the start and ended up biting an 8-year-old boy. While the boy wasn’t severely injured, it came about that JoJo wasn’t properly vaccinated. The Van Houtens were cited for the incident, and Carrabba’s had to change their policy on monkeys.
The restaurant, which has many locations throughout the United States, is mostly popular for its Italian food. “Monkey Mondays” were unique to the Stuart location.
The incident happened on July 16th. The Miami Herald reported that a diner approached the Van Houtens and asked if their 8-year-old son, Jaxson, could pet JoJo. The Van Houtens stated that JoJo wasn’t in the best mood, so they advised that the boy be careful.
At the time, Jaxson used caution, and everything worked out fine. But after dinner, he tried to interact with JoJo again by grabbing her. Scared, the monkey bit the boy on the finger. No stitches were required.
Now, JoJo and the rest of the gang — Kalani, Elvis, Keegan, and KJ — won’t be invited back. But, that might be for the best. Two lessons were learned here. One, don’t bring a monkey to a restaurant. And two, it’s always important to treat animals with respect.