Sevierville Police Department officers responded to Soaky Mountain Waterpark, 175 Gists Creek Road, at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, June 23 after receiving a call from waterpark management reporting a dead monkey inside a vehicle.
When officers arrived, they found a nine-week old marmoset monkey deceased in a car in the parking lot. Another marmoset monkey was also in the vehicle. That five-week old monkey appeared to be in distress from the extreme interior vehicle heat and was transported to Appalachian Animal Hospital in Morristown for treatment. As of this afternoon, the hospital reported that although the monkey is very dehydrated, its condition is improving.
The outside air temperature at the time was about 87 degrees. According to ASPCA.org, vehicle interior temperature in the summer can rise from 85 degrees to 120 degrees within thirty minutes.
Officers have charged both owners of the monkeys. 54-year old Nova Brettell of Warsaw, Indiana has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty, and 54-year old David Paul Brettell, also of Warsaw, Indiana, has been charged with animal cruelty. Additional charges are possible. The investigation is ongoing.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.