By J.D. Moor
Ed Walker, a Brookhaven resident for 36 years, walks throughout the Drew Valley neighborhood at least once a day, weather permitting, with his pet on a leash.
But Walker’s pet isn’t a dog; it’s a 34-year-old black-horned Capuchin monkey, named Zorro.
Walker says he got Zorro from Busch Gardens in Florida, back when it was legal to do so.
Zorro is a species of monkey originating from the jungles of Brazil. In past centuries, his type was widely recognized as many organ grinders’ most trusted sidekicks. He eats Purina Monkey Chow and has a life span of 45 years, according to Walker.
Whenever one might see these two on one of their walks, Zorro will almost always be draped over Walker’s shoulder or around his neck. But Zorro can shift from docile to guard monkey. Get too close to Walker, even just to shake hands, and Zorro becomes agitated or jumps.
“He gets protective and doesn’t like others to touch me,” Walker said.
How does Walker like having a monkey on his back? He says he wouldn’t have it any other way.