Friday, April 25, 2008

Mysterious Phone Tip Leads To Return Of Stolen Baby Monkey

monkey stolenSomewhat subdued by her ordeal, a rare baby monkey stolen from the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John, N.B., this week was found safe and sound and was to be reunited with her family Friday morning.

April, a South American Callimico goeldii monkey abducted from her cage Tuesday night, was located by Saint John police early this morning after receiving a phone tip.

"I am exhausted, but I am so happy," said one of the zoo directors, Lynda Collrin. "She seems to be fine."

Collrin, a primatologist, said April has not yet been reunited with her mother or brother.

"We wanted to do this in the morning when they're feeding the other ones so we can get her in with them and so that it's kind of a natural thing."

Sgt. Don Cooper said police got a call around midnight Thursday from a man with "a low voice," who provided the exact location of the purloined primate. They found April shortly after behind a building near a gas station, in a plastic container with air slots cut into it. They speedily returned her to the zoo.

"Two police cars came with lights flashing and they hadn't touched her," said zoo employee Shirley MacAulay. "They didn't even know if she was alive or not. She was in a plastic tote and it was taped up."

Collrin explained that April's handlers knew to keep their handling to a minimum.

"We didn't pick her up," she said. "She was in a blue tote and you can't see in it and there wasn't much movement when she came in. So we opened the top and there she was sitting there. And we kind of tipped the tote up and she went into a crate."

April had a good meal, spent the night at Collrin's home, and was to be returned to the zoo's monkey enclosure Friday morning.

"She's a little quiet," Collrin said. "She's not bouncing around."

"We just want to get her in and get them reunited and let them settle down."

Police said a note was attached to the top of the tote box. It said the animal had been cared for and fed, although it also suggested the zoo increase security at its facilities.

Story here.

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