GALVESTON

Lilly is back.

In a two-sentence press release sent out just before 10 p.m. on Friday, the Galveston Police Department said Lilly, the missing capuchin monkey, has been returned to her original owner.

The statement did not say where Lilly was, who found her or what her condition was.

Animal control officers determined Lilly was alive after speaking to the monkey’s owner on Friday, Galveston Police Department spokesman Xavier Hancock said.

In the same statement, police said the owner, Leigh Kuchera, had been issued a citation for possession of an exotic animal. The citation is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

The department did not try to seize the monkey, Hancock said. Possessing a monkey is illegal in the city, but there is a civil process that is used to rehome or remove animals in situation like this, he said.

The announcement is the latest development in the simian saga that began on Monday evening when police asked residents to be on the lookout for Lilly after she was spotted running across Broadway in Galveston.

Lilly allegedly escaped from a home in the 1900 block of Sealy Avenue after it was burglarized. On Wednesday, police announced they had arrested Percy Epps, a Galveston man, and charged him with the burglary.

At the same time, there have been conflicting stories about Lilly’s status.

On Tuesday morning, a Houston TV station reported Lilly had been found dead and buried. The station credited that report to unnamed family members.

Later that day, police said they determined that wasn’t true, and they did not know where the monkey was.

On Wednesday, Kuchera said she believed Lilly was probably dead and denied that anyone in her family had told police or media that the monkey had been found dead.

Kuchera did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday evening.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(7) comments

Terry Moore

I do hate to hear Lilly could be removed from the home since they raised her. :(

Bailey Jones

In a previous story, the homeowner claimed that Lilly was not her pet, but that she was just watching the animal for her mother, who lives in East Texas but had left for a cruise from the Port of Galveston on Sunday. For whatever that's worth.

Jim Forsythe

"Lilly, the missing capuchin monkey, has been returned to her original owner." The

original owner they are talking about, may be the mother.

Paula Flinn

I thought Lilly was a “service” animal. I don’t think the owners should be punished for anything. They were victims of a break-in, a life-threatening experience.

John Merritt

Simian saga. good one John Wayne Ferguson.

Carlos Ponce

Was the monkey considered "homeless" while roaming the streets of Galveston?[wink]

Doug Sivyer

No telling what the truth is because the owners and their family have been caught in lies about this from the start. Take the monkey and give it to a rescue where someone that can care for it properly and legally. ,Monkeys were not meant to live with people as pets for Gods sake.

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