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Maybe he had a middle seat; maybe he didn’t get priority boarding. Whatever the reason for his grievance, a San Antonio-bound monkey escaped his cage Monday afternoon for a self-guided tour of the San Antonio Airport (SAT) baggage area.

The monkey arrived at San Antonio (SAT) from Chicago (ORD) Monday afternoon and “inadvertently became free of his cage” somewhere along the way, said a spokesperson for American Airlines. The monkey, a rhesus macaque named Dawkins, had originally come from Boston (BOS), and was on his way to a new home at the Born Free USA primate sanctuary, located on 186 acres just outside the San Antonio area.

Dawkins remained in the baggage area and never entered the passenger part of the airport itself. A video posted to Twitter showed him, err, monkeying around one of the baggage carousels in the cargo area. The San Antonio Aviation Department and officials from the San Antonio Zoo worked together with the airport and the airline to make sure Dawkins didn’t suffer undue stress.

Soon after this video was taken, Dawkins was successfully tranquilized, and he is now on his way to his new home.

“One of the realities of working with primates is that situations often can be unpredictable, and that is precisely what happened today,” Born Free USA said via Twitter. “While this is not an ideal arrival for Dawkins, his is destined for a very comfortable life – the kind of life he deserves – at our Sanctuary, that will be as close as possible to life in the wild.”

American Airlines said it would conduct a full review of the situation. TPG has reached out to Dawkins for a review of the Boeing 737-800 cargo hold experience.

We had originally identified, incorrectly, the subject of this story as a baboon. It later transpired that it was in fact a rhesus macaque, a different species. We have corrected the story.  

Featured photo by Getty Images.

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