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Exotic animals are being stolen from French Zoo’s

France

May 2005 to Aug. 2005

12 pink flamingoes were taken from the Amneville Zoo in northeast France by intruders who broke in at night using heavy wire-cutters and then tore the roof of the bird’s hut.

Zookeepers believe that some of the birds broke legs or suffered heart failure in the break in.

14 pink flamingoes wee taken from the Amiens Zoo in June, 2005 in what zoo director Christine Morrier said was certainly a commissioned theft.  Humboldt penguins were right next to the flamingoes and they were untouched.

3 Wallabies and a marmoset were stolen in May, 2005 from the Beauval animal park in central France.  This after the loss of a vulture and several parrots.

The Sables d’Olonne zoo had 2 penguins stolen.

Thoiry lost 5 pygmy marmosets.

Aix-en-Provence had parrots and monkeys taken

Zoo officials and police agree that the thefts are motivated by the high prices offered for exotic breeds on the black market.  A flamingo can sell for up to $3,600 dollars (3,000 euros) and a tamarind for up to 7,000 euros.  The tiny Madagascar tortoise can fetch 10,000 euros.

Also customs officials have become increasingly more active against the trade which has made zoos an obvious next target.

European zoo authorities say they plan to set up an international database to register animals that are being stolen in growing numbers to feed demand from private collectors and unscrupulous dealers in the exotic pet trade.  In addition zoo owners are being urged to identify all animals with microchips and to take photographs.

Reference:

Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition

Scotland Sunday Herald

Terradaily