ELLISFORDE - Discovery of a small, human-like skull on Nigg Drive has left Okanogan County Coroner Dave Rodriguez scratching his head.

Rodriguez said some children out on four-wheelers came across the skull and took it home, where adults then stepped in.

Reports indicate the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office was notified around 6:25 p.m. Aug. 31.

Deputies took possession of the skull, which was missing the jawbone, and then contacted Rodriguez.

“It looks like a mini human head,” said Rodriguez. “It fits in the palm of your hand.”

He said the skull appears to be very old and “is in bad shape.”

It has mature teeth, so is not likely to be from an infant, he said. The canine teeth are missing.

Rodriguez said he photographed the skull and notified the state anthropologist. He’s awaiting word back on the type of animal to which the skull belonged.

“I’m interested to hear what they say,” he said.

He speculated the skull might be from a monkey.

“It would be monkey sized,” he said.

A private zoo, Feathers and Friends Zoo, operated in the area about 20 years ago, although Rodriguez said he’s not aware of that facility having any monkeys.

The zoo was known for having large cats, including a lion that once escaped and was found nearby.

A check of Chronicle files for the time - incidents involving the zoo’s owners led the county to pass an exotic animal ordinance in 2004 - indicated another man, who lived in Aeneas Valley, raised monkeys.

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