An animal rights group on Monday called for DeSoto police to investigate Dez Bryant for having a pet monkey illegally within city limits.
PETA said the Cowboys wide receiver can’t have the capuchin monkey because of a municipal ordinance in DeSoto that bans owning the monkey without a special use permit.
Bryant posted a photo of him holding the baby monkey he named Dallas on Instagram last week.
PETA officials said they have contacted authorities in DeSoto and asked them to get possession of the monkey and move it to an accredited wildlife sanctuary.
"Monkeys belong in the wild—not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals just to make a splash on Instagram," says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet 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."
DeSoto police said they are monitoring the situation, but weren’t planning to take any immediate action.
Bryant’s attorney has informed police that the monkey isn’t in DeSoto city limits and isn’t violating any rules.
"As Dallas gets older, he will become dangerous,” said Brittany Peet with PETA. “Monkeys who are kept as pets are known to lash out and bite people…the time to retire Dallas to a reputable sanctuary is now, when he is still young enough to have a chance at a good life."
PETA has lined up a new out of state home if Bryant will give up the capuchin.
The monkey came up briefly at the end of coach Jason Garrett's Monday news conference.
“I have not met Dallas,” said Garrett. “I have heard stories that he has a monkey. And there's been visual evidence of that."