They normally expect the long arm of the law lurking in the ditches of the roadside to detect their misdemeanours but instead the long tail of a monkey sent them into a panic.
The three-year-old Capuchin monkey from South America went a little nuts and poked a hole in the enclosure she shared with her brother and escaped from the Copsewood Aviary.
However, she had been told what had happened to the chicken and so decided she would not try to ape the bird by crossing the road.
Instead, she sat down by the side of the highway and contemplated her new surroundings.
Even though the speeding cars made the monkey puzzled, she refrained from a King Kong urge to swipe at them.
For fear of hitting the little creature motorists backed up from the spot where she had perched herself. As the tailback grew, gardaí realised they had to use “gorilla tactics” and moved in.
With their help and with support from the public, Eddie Drew of Copsewood managed to catch the animal and return her safely to her enclosure.
According to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there is no law which regulates the keeping of wild animals on private property to which the public are not granted access.
“You are required by law to hold a licence to own a dog, but not a tiger,” it states. “Without a law, it is inevitable that in the future people are going to be seriously injured or killed,” a spokesman said.
The organisation has called for:
* A simple, cheap licence to keep exotic animals which are not deemed to be dangerous species
* A second type of licence for those animals which are realistically classed as dangerous. This would require owners to have secure and suitable caging, adequate public safety measures, etc.