Connecticut Man Goes to Trial for Owning Endangered Ape

A court appearance for a Fairfield man charged with illegally owning an endangered ape has been postponed until March 31.

Forty-nine-year-old Pierce Onthank, the president of an oil and gas company, is charged with illegal possession of a siamang, a type of gibbon native to the rainforests of Malaysia, which can grow to about 3 feet tall and weigh up to 30 pounds. The siamang is an endangered species.

Onthank has been accused of keeping a collection of wild animals including a river otter and a two-toed sloth

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection says he never had a permit for the animal as required by state law.

Onthank's wife says the 2-year-old siamang weighs about 14 pounds and wears diapers.

A Stamford Superior Court clerk says Onthank, who had been scheduled for a court appearance Monday, has had his case continued.

The case comes a month after a Stamford woman was mauled by a pet chimpanzee and is now fighting for her life.