Every year, around 1,200 monkeys like him are imported into the United States to serve as laboratory test subjects where their identities are reduced to numbers permanently imprinted on their skin, Trutit says. It's unclear what Andi had been forced to endure for the ten unaccounted-for years of his life in a lab, though his usefulness had evidently dried up.
Yet instead of being retired to a sanctuary, where he might have had the chance to experience some semblance of a normal life, Andi is believed to have been dumped into the exotic animal trade.
"The records of these transactions don't have to be made public," said Truitt. "But we know that it's a fairly common practice."
From there, perhaps after being traded among several dealers, Andi ultimately wound up being sold as a pet. Truitt spoke to a man who reported having traded cash for the monkey in the parking lot of an exotic auction in Tennessee. Not long after though, he apparently lost interest in the new pet and abandoned him across state lines where he was eventually rescued.