[monkeywire] Baby monkeys stolen in zoo raid
josh.greenman at gmail.com
Mon Mar 20 15:07:26 EST 2006
Baby monkeys stolen in zoo raid
A pair of baby marmoset monkeys the size of a human thumb were amongst
a haul of rare animals and birds stolen in a burglary of a zoo.
The tiny primates were amongst an entire colony of the threatened
black-eared marmosets that was stolen along with a number of exotic
birds from Exmoor Zoo in Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, Devon.
Curator Danny Reynolds said he believed the burglary had been carried
out by thieves stealing to order.
He said that he believed that the four-week old marmosets were in
grave peril because of their size and vulnerability.
Mr Reynolds said: "Those two little babies are going to suffer. It's
what is going to happen to them that worries me.
"Unless they are looked after by someone who knows how to care for
them, they are going to die.
"Monkeys are a social animal and the stress doesn't always show
immediately, it could be a month down the line, if they survive that
long, that the change in environment could affect them.
"The babies were so young that we have not even named them yet because
they are only just reaching an age where we could feel safe that they
Mr Reynolds explained that the colony of nine black-eared marmosets, a
species officially rated as threatened, was the only breeding colony
in the UK.
They are about 18in tall and originate from the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil.
Also stolen were a pair of white-fronted marmosets which are
considered an endangered species, also from the Amazon.
The birds stolen were two pairs of parrots, a pair of cockatoos and a
pair of Amazons.
Mr Reynolds said: "These people have no right targeting a zoo. They
have targeted species which do not require a licence to be owned by a
normal member of the public so I do believe they have been stealing to
"But these animals are not like ones you would find in a pet shop. We
have been building up the colony of black-eared marmosets since 1993
so this is more than a decade's work protecting this species down the
"It is so much of our work just gone because someone can't earn a
living in a normal way."
Mr Reynolds said he believed the thieves entered the zoo through a
perimeter fence at about 3am today and came equipped with carrying
boxes to remove the animals.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "The police are currently
investigating this offence and are keen to ensure their swift return
of the animals for their safety and welfare."
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