[monkeywire] Monkey allegedly murdered while trying to save mate

carrie mclaren brooklynite282 at gmail.com
Thu May 8 11:48:19 EDT 2008

One monkey killed, another missing from B.C. zoo
One monkey killed, another missing from B.C. zoo

Linda Nguyen , Canwest News Service
Published: 3 hours ago

A male spider monkey killed early Wednesday at the Greater Vancouver Zoo
likely died a hero's death trying to protect his mate from being kidnapped,
according to B.C. RCMP.

Jocko, a 17-year-old male monkey, most likely attacked the culprit or
culprits after they broke into his cage where he lived with a female spider
monkey named Mia.

"It is quite likely the male came to the aid of the female and the suspect
or suspects may have sustained injuries," Langley RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen
said Wednesday. "The general consensus is that the male would've come to the
defence of the female at this time."

Officials at the rural zoo found Jocko dead and Mia missing after they
discovered a small hole purposely cut in the monkey cage Wednesday morning.

Thiessen said the suspects somehow entered zoo property sometime between 9
p.m. and 7:45 a.m., specifically targeting the spider monkey cages.

It's unclear whether the suspects crawled in or reached in to take the
17-year-old, 25-pound female monkey.

"This is a fairly unique case. It's quite serious, in regards to the theft
and well-being of the monkey," he said. "This is not something that is
acceptable by anybody's standards."

Investigators are now looking into the possibility of whether Mia was taken
as a personal pet or sold on the black market.

A spider monkey is worth about $5,000.

Jocko's body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death
although Thiessen noted there were no overt signs of trauma.

Meanwhile, zoo officials desperately are appealing to the public for Mia's
safe return.

"I'm so distraught right now. It's still very fresh," zoo official Jody
Henderson said Wednesday. She added there is a possibility the break-in
could have been the work of animal activists.

"We have no idea at this stage in the game who could've done this,"
Henderson said. "It's all being investigated."

Mia is described as having dark brown fur, with a light blond chest and
steel-blue eyes. She is about a half-metre tall with a very long tail.

"We want her back," Henderson said of Mia, who along with Jocko, had been
living at the zoo for 15 years. "She's part of our family."

She added that anyone who spots Mia should call the zoo and not approach her
because she has very sharp teeth and could attack because she is

Spider monkeys are found in the wild in tropical forests in Central and
South America.

This appears to be the second recent instance of a monkey theft from a
Canadian zoo.

On April 22, a rare baby South American Callimico goeldii monkey named April
was taken from the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John, N.B.

The monkey was abducted from her cage, sparking a desperate plea from
zookeepers for her safe return.

Police received a call two days later from a man with "a low voice," who
provided the location of the baby monkey. They found April nearby in a
plastic container with a few air vents cut into it, and speedily returned
her to the zoo.

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