Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Teen Arrested For Monkey Theft

stolen monkeyWest Palm Beach police arrested a 17-year-old boy late Friday in the theft of three squirrel monkeys, a Goeldi's monkey and a Green-cheeked Amazon parrot from the Palm Beach Zoo, according to police spokesman Chase Scott.

The suspect faces burglary and grand theft charges. Animal cruelty charges are pending in the case.

"We are investigating two other young adults in connection with the crime," Scott said.

Primate keeper Nancy Nill's worry lines were gone, replaced by a broad grin.

She was still in mom mode, closely monitoring the recovery of four monkeys and a parrot that had been stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo after Wednesday's closing time. But with their return Thursday afternoon, relief tempered her concern.

"Awesome. I feel awesome," Nill said. "I can sleep tonight."

Acting on a tip, police tracked the animals to an abandoned house on the 2532 Palmarita Road in Lake Clarke Shores, according to Scott.

Three squirrel monkeys were found in plastic containers in a sweltering shed behind the house. A Goeldi's monkey and a Green-cheeked Amazon parrot were kept in cages.

Veterinarians treated the animals for heat exposure. All are expected to make a full recovery, though one monkey, Dougie, was in more serious condition and needed more care, said Keith Lovett, director of living collections at the zoo.

By Friday, Dougie was out of the intensive care unit and doing fine, mingling with other monkeys, said zoo spokesman Brian Crowley.

Full story here.

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