A 44-year-old Van Buren woman has been charged with illegally possessing four therapy monkeys.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Maine Warden Service says Sheila Soucy faces four counts of violating a state importation permit and four counts of unlawful possession of wild animals. Soucy was issued a permit in April 2015 to possess one marmoset monkey for therapy purposes, Wardens say.

Officials discovered Soucy had allegedly violated the permit by acquiring five monkeys from a breeder in Florida. Game wardens and biologists, assisted by the Van Buren Police Department seized three marmoset monkeys and one tamarin monkey on Thursday.

Judy Camuso, wildlife division director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said, “The illegal importation of exotic wildlife can threaten the health of native species, and it can also become a public safety issue.”

The monkeys will be returned to Florida.

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine