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Zoo Monkeys Stolen

Alma Park Zoo Monkey
Cotton-Topped Tamarin Monkey
(5) marks: 1

Alma Park Zoo Keepers are still searching for a missing, highly-endangered female Tamarin monkey after her partner was found dead on Sunday in a nearby housing estate.

Tonto and Conchetta, the pair of Cotton-top Tamarin monkeys, were taken from their zoo enclosure on Saturday night.

Tonto, the eight-year-old male monkey, was found dead yesterday afternoon by residents in nearby Surround Street, Dakabin. The Cause of death is still to be determined.

Alma Park Zoo manager Garry Connell said, ‘‘We don’t know whether the people who broke in actually captured the female or whether they both managed to escape.”

He also said Conchetta, who is pregnant with twins, was unlikely to survive another 24 hours in the wild, if she had managed to escape.
‘‘She hasn’t got much going for her in these wet and cold conditions,’’ he said.

Mr Connell said he hoped the small tropical monkey had found shelter high in a tree within the zoo grounds.
Keepers at Alma Park zoo kept her enclosure open overnight in the hope she would be enticed back by it’s warm lights and food.

Mr Connell said zoo employees have been devastated at the news.
he said, ‘‘I even have cafe staff, who do not have anything to do with the animals, that have gone home in tears, is quite emotional.’’
Mr Connell said there was no indication as to what had motivated the thieves.

‘‘Whether someone thought they would be a cute pet, or they were interested in them for some other reason, we do not know,’’ he said.
Mr Connell also appealed for anyone with information about the Tamarins’ disappearance to contact the zoo or police.

It is not known if more than one person was involved in the theft.

Police Inspector Ross Martin said it appeared that whoever stole the monkeys had climbed a fence to get into the zoo and then cut the padlock to the monkey’s enclosure.
 

Michael Palmer

Photo: Supplied by Alma Park Zoo

Date: 11/10/2010

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