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Six monkeys evicted from NYC apartment

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Manhattan (New York)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Six "happy and healthy" monkeys have been confiscated from a New York City apartment they shared with a tarantula, various other animals and a veterinarian's assistant, the city Animal Care and Control agency said.

Mike Pastore, field director for the agency, said Orlando Lopez, 26, crossed the line as an animal lover.

Lopez, who works in a veterinarian clinic in Manhattan, was given a summons to appear in court next month. He could be fined for violating city health regulations.

The six monkeys -- two squirrel monkeys, two marmosets and two capuchins -- were kept in three 4-by-9-foot wire cages in Lopez's studio apartment, Pastore said.

He said the monkeys were "as happy and healthy as they could be," considering the accommodations, and were sent to an animal care facility on Long Island after being taken from the apartment Tuesday.

Keeping primates and venomous spiders as pets violates New York's animal control laws.

Pastore said Lopez told the animal rescuers that he knew keeping the six monkeys and the tarantula in the apartment was a violation.

Lopez said he had purchased the monkeys legally in Florida and that they were not taken from the wild, according to Pastore.

Lopez was allowed to keep his other pets, a turtle and fish in a tank, two dogs and a cat, Pastore said.

New York authorities last October confiscated a 400-pound Bengal tiger and a 3-foot alligator from an apartment in a Harlem public housing project.

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