Last month, Parvin Hajihossini woke up in a bed and breakfast she and her boyfriend were staying at in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York and went to take a look around.

The facility had a resident capuchin monkey named Benjamin and Parvin, 53, says she went over to his cage to snap a picture.

Before she knew what was happening, she adds, the monkey was mauling her, taking a giant bite out of her cheek that required many stitches.

After the attack, according to Parvin’s lawyer, Rich Ancowitz, local health officials ordered the monkey destroyed and checked for rabies, but its owner, famed painter Allen Hirsch, failed to turn over his pet.

The monkey is still missing and Hirsch declined to comment on the advice of his lawyer. He’s currently in South America.

Parvin is suing Hirsch, saying she’s plagued by nightmares and can’t return to work.

For more about this case, visit the CBS Early Show and the Albany Times Union