MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) – It wasn’t a sale but a small monkey that got customers’ attention inside a Southeast Memphis clothing store Wednesday afternoon.
Arionna Moffitt and a friend were shopping at the Summitt in the Centennial Commons when they noticed the monkey — a common marmoset — jumping from rack to rack.
“It’s just the one time we came in the store. It was a coincidence,” said Moffitt.
Moffitt said she knew right away it was a missing pet. She had earlier seen a Facebook post from Brandi Jefferson, the owner of the monkey, asking for help finding the animal.
“She was jumping around over there, but my brother, he knows the girl whose monkey it is, and I saw it on Facebook, so I knew who’s monkey it was,” said Moffitt.
Jefferson said she had her monkey, named Ice, with her on Tuesday when she stopped by the Dollar Tree next to the Summit.
She said she was only in the store for about five minutes and left a window cracked for the monkey, and when she came back, the monkey was gone. She searched all around the shopping center and made a plea on Facebook, even offering a reward.
A.R. Jordan, an employee of the store, said the monkey got in through an open back door, but at the time, he thought it was a squirrel and was trying to lure it out with bread. He said he had no idea where the animal came from and didn’t seem to mind that the small primate had turned the store into one giant jungle gym.
“I love it. I hope it can stay here,” said Jordan.
It didn’t take Jefferson long to catch Ice. She said she was relieved to have her back and grateful to the people who found her.
Jordan was sad to see the monkey go.
“It was actually fun. First time I’ve seen them out of the zoo,” said Jordan.
It is legal in Memphis and the state of Tennessee to own a small exotic animal like a marmoset.