Conservation officers are searching for a monkey that escaped a facility in the Lake Cowichan area on the weekend.

The male capuchin monkey escaped an enclosure at Primate Estates on Saturday, according to BC Conservation Officer Scott Norris.

The animal, which is fairly small and brown-black in colour, was last seen heading off into the forest, sparking concern for its well-being.

"The area has a lot of dense vegetation and forest around, making it very challenging and difficult to locate the animal," said Norris.

Its owners are searching the area trying to capture it and anyone who spots the monkey is asked to call conservation at 1-877-952-7277.

The public is asked not to approach the monkey if they see it.

"There is a chance you could get bitten. We wouldn't want to see someone get injured or getting a disease transfer, that is possible," said Norris.

He said the overall risk to the public is "quite low," and officials are hoping they can track down the primate quickly and get it back to its habitat.