Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Unknown 5 endangered monkeys stolen

East Sussex, England

June 19, 2006  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse


5 monkeys include a family of silvery marmosets; a pair of Geoffrey marmosets



Photo courtesy of CBS News   5 endangered monkeys were taken in a string of thefts involving small primates across England.

A family of silvery marmosets, a male, a female and their 2-month-old baby and a pair of Geoffrey marmosets were taken from nesting boxes at the Drusillas Park Zoo in East Sussex.  Thieves also tried to break into a 3rd enclosure holding small monkeys stated a zoo spokesman.

Zoos in Devon & Suffolk have also had small monkeys stolen in recent weeks.  "This is not a casual crime", said John Haywood, coordinator of the National Theft Register for Exotic Animals.  "This is extremely well organized and is no doubt a part of a series.  These are specialist crimes".

Haywood, who estimated more than 50 small monkeys have been stolen in England and Scotland the past few years.  Police believe the breeding pair of marmosets were taken for use in the international illegal pet trade.  "We think they may have been taken to an illegal breeding station somewhere, with the intent of selling them abroad or across Europe.

Ian Flamank, a spokesman for Drusillas Park Zoo puts the marmosets' value at $3,700 to $5,500 each.  Because small monkeys can be successfully bred in captivity, their profit potential is great - but their quality as pets is not, states Flamank.  "They're great behind glass, he said.  But they wouldn't make great pets.  They're not companion animals".

Adult silvery marmosets weigh less than a pound and rarely exceed a foot in length, while the Geoffrey marmoset is a little larger.

Jazz, the mother in the silvery marmoset family, has a serious jaw condition and could die without medication, Flamank stated.  Her baby, Larkin is similarly at risk, having only just been weaned.  "There's always hope.  We'd really like to hold out for them to come back", Flamank said.

Reference:   CBS News