Kam Ying, the only monkey in Hong Kong with a license to be reared in a household, has been put to sleep, after the primate suffered serious dehydration, multiple bone fractures and brain dysfunction, the Apple Daily reported Friday.
The female rhesus macaque’s owner, 62-year-old Chan Yiu-wing, said he was saddened by the loss of a “life companion”, which he said had accompanied him during a long period of hardships.
“You can repay debts, but you cannot repay a relationship,” said Chan, who inherited Kam Ying from his father Chan Yat-biu, who died in 2004.
Chan Yat-biu, who sold medicines for children, had used Kam Ying to attract customers by training the pet to perform somersaults and other tricks.
Chan had been a street hawker since the 1950s and registered his trademark, featuring a monkey on an old man’s vest, in 1959.
In May 2000, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department confiscated Kam Ying, but a magistrate ordered that the pet be returned to its owner.
In view of the court ruling, the AFCD issued a license allowing Chan to keep the monkey as a household pet.
Chan Yiu-wing said he spent several years establishing a relationship with Kam Ying, who appeared to have been deeply affected by his father’s death.
In 2008, the family’s infant medicine business suffered a huge setback: pesticides were found in the drug.
As a result, Chan closed the business and his financial situation deteriorated. And so did Kam Ying’s health.
When AFCD veterinarians did a check-up on the monkey on Nov. 25 last year, they found that Kam Ying was having symptoms of dehydration.
The next day, Chan was seized by panic after seeing Kam Ying immobilized.
He rushed Kam Ying to an animal clinic and agreed to put the monkey to sleep the same evening after veterinarians confirmed its health issues were very serious. The monkey was 18 years old.
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