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American Football Star Urged to Give Up Pet Monkey

FILE - Mally, the pet monkey of Canadian singer Justin Bieber, is seen at a home for animals in Munich, Apr. 2, 2013. Another celebrity is facing criticism for having a baby capuchin monkey.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is urging a star American football player to give up his pet monkey.

Dez Bryant, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, posted a picture of his pet monkey on Instagram, along with the caption “my new best friend … Dallas Bryant.”

PETA is now calling for Bryant to turn the monkey over to a sanctuary equipped to care for it.

“Monkeys belong in the wild—not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals just to make a splash on Instagram,” said PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet, according to CBS DFW. “This baby capuchin was torn away from his mother shortly after birth and needs special care that can now only be provided by wildlife experts who will be able to ensure that he gets the love and attention he deserves.”

PETA said Bryant and other private individuals can’t get the proper permits to keep the monkey, as those permits are normally given to public zoos, schools, retail pet distributors, rodeos or circuses.

The rights group also said it has arranged a place for the monkey in an accredited sanctuary.

Bryant has not made any comment about PETA’s demand.