Authorities seize elderly N.Y. woman's pet monkey of 22 years BRENTWOOD, N.Y. -- An elderly Long Island woman is devastated after she was forced to surrender her pet monkey of 22 years, CBS New York reported. Beatrice Nieves, 80, told CBS New York that she feels like she lost a member of her family. "It breaks my heart," she said. "I haven't stopped crying for four days." On Saturday, state authorities acting on an anonymous tip seized Nieves' long-time pet, Luna, a capuchin monkey, from her Brentwood, New York, home. In New York, only licensed authorities like zoos or animal researchers are permitted to have the primate, and they're illegal as pets. "They are very unpredictable. If you look at this capuchin it's very cute. It looks like something you would want to cuddle up with, but let me tell you, these monkeys can be extremely dangerous," Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said. Gross said these monkeys can spread disease, or even bite someone. Nieves lives with her son Richard. He said they had no idea it was illegal to have a monkey in their home, and they claim the animal was completely safe to be around. CBS New York "Nobody really knew we had it," Richard Nieves said. "It never bit me, never bit a family member, or anybody." State officials point to the home-grown chimpanzee who suddenly turned on Charla Nash in 2009. The attack was so severe the Connecticut woman has since struggled with numerous face transplant surgeries. Beatrice Nieves scoffed at the comparison to her monkey Luna, who weighs just over 10 pounds, compared to a full grown chimpanzee. "Please don't get pulled in by that," she said. CBS New York The former nurse said her neighbors didn't even know she had the money, which she bought after responding to a newspaper ad reading "Monkey For Sale." "She was full of fun. One time my son tripped on the steps coming in and she just laughed until she fell down," Nieves said. "Very good natured." The Nieves family said they just want Luna back, but state authorities said the monkey is already being sent to an unnamed, primate-friendly facility. Nieves is also being fined $250 for having a monkey without a permit.