Tri-City Doctor Signs Monkey's Death Order - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-City Doctor Signs Monkey's Death Order

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KENNEWICK, Wash.- The controversy over the killing of a pet monkey in Spokane has ties to the Tri-Cities.

Benton-Franklin Health District Doctor Larry Jecha ordered the monkey that reportedly bit three people be euthanized.  

Jecha is acting director of the Spokane County District because its director was recently fired.  

Chico, a macaque monkey, needs to be tested for rabies.  

Doctors say he had to be put down immediately to ensure the safety of the victims.  

"They're more like humans as far as harboring it, they can harbor the virus in their bodies for several years and then come down with the disease, so there's only one foolproof way of protecting those people that were bitten," Jecha said. 

Health district leaders say the monkey was euthanized this afternoon after controversy and protests.  

The shelter that was housing it had refused to put it down.