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Brazil: Thousands urge return of pet monkey Chico, removed from adoptive family after 37 years

The removal of a pet monkey from the family that adopted him nearly 40 years ago is upsetting thousands of people in Brazil.

The G1 internet portal of the Globo television network reports Monday that more than 4,000 people have signed an online petition urging Sao Paulo state environmental police to return the capuchin monkey known as Chico.

Two officers removed the monkey from the home of 71-year-old Elizete Farias Carmona on Saturday.

The monkey was given to the family in 1976 and Carmona tells Globo "he was like a son."

It's illegal to keep wild animals as pets in Brazil.

Globo says Chico has been taken to an animal protection area around 185 miles (300 kilometers) from the family home in Sao Carlos.