The Ohio Department of Health could seize and kill a man's pet spider monkey, after the animal bit an employee at a car dealership, Tuesday.

The monkey's owner, Jacob Ruehlman, 20, brought the white-bellied, 10 pound spider monkey to a car dealership 45 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, he said because the monkey gets upset when separated from his owner. The monkey, named Brodi, lives with Jacob and his twin brother Michael Ruehlman.

“He (the employee) reached his hand right in the car,” Jacob Ruehlman said. “It wasn't a serious bite. It looked like someone had stuck a tiny pin in his thumb.”

Brodi was sitting on Michael Ruehlman's lap in their rental car when a Pat O'Brien Chevrolet employee approached the car window. The employee asked to pet Brodi, whom Jacob Ruehlman said may have felt out of his element in a strange place.

Ruehlman said the health department is attempting to obtain Brodi to possibly have the monkey executed.

Brodi has his own YouTube channel, and some videos of the monkey received hundreds of thousands of views. Videos include Brodi playing outside and getting a bath.


Ruehlman said Brodi is vaccinated for rabies, which was verified by police, and Ruehlman's exotic animal permit is pending.

The Ruehlman brothers were previously arrested in Ft. Myers, Fla., on misdemeanor charges after allegedly stealing a pair of gibbons from a Nebraska woman.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the brothers met Nancy Stephens on the Internet. The brothers reportedly stayed with Stephens at her Nebraska home during the summer of 2013 until mid-July.

When Stephens' two gibbons went missing in September, she suspected the brothers and alerted a mutual friend, who convinced Jacob Ruehlman to meet in Florida to return the gibbons, the Journal Star reported. Before the brothers could meet the mutual friend, a Lee County deputy sheriff stopped and arrested the men.

Charges against the brothers are pending through the Lee County Common Pleas Court.

Ruehlman, who has had pet monkeys since age 15, obtained Brodi when the monkey was 2 months old. Ruehlman said he got Brodi through a licensed breeder in Missouri, Lolli Brothers Livestock Market Inc. Police verified receipts of the sale, which show Brodi was purchased by Ruehlman on Dec. 9, 2011.

Ruehlman said Brodi is currently staying with his co-owner and no time frame has been given regarding the monkey's fate. Ruehlman said he hopes Brodi's life is spared because Brodi is up-to-date on all his shots.

“He's a new world monkey,” Ruehlman said. “They don't carry diseases. Brodi was born here in the United States, so it's not like he's some exotic, wild animal.”

Ruehlman said he doesn't care if he is fined by the state, as long as Brodi remains alive and in his possession.

“He's like my kid,” he said. “He sleeps in bed with me, wears diapers and has the biggest bedroom in the house.”