Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Teenagers In Custody Over Darwin Marmoset Theft
A wee monkey kidnapped from one of Darwin's top tourist attractions has been found, traumatised and desperate for a drink, but otherwise OK.
Two teenagers from Palmerston near Darwin city are in police custody over the theft, which occurred last Friday night.
Workers at the popular Crocodylus Park park woke last Saturday to find a hole in the monkey enclosure and the marmoset - worth about $2000 - gone.
The monkey hunt ended today when police, acting on a tip-off, searched a house in Palmerston.
The park's chief scientist Charlie Manolis said his team was thrilled at the return of the marmoset, which has distinctive tufts of white hair sprouting from its ears.
"I haven't seen him but he was stressed and dehydrated so the keepers are giving him a feed and then he'll be back with his buddies where he feels more secure," he said.
"They were all quite distressed by the whole thing ... they are tiny little things and they are gregarious animals who don't like being alone."
After the theft, the other two monkeys in the enclosure went off their food and stopped jumping on the keepers when they entered the enclosure, he said.
"They shake almost when they are really frightened. We are just overjoyed to get him back."