'Outrageous' raid makes off with 17 critically endangered monkeys from French zoo

Seven golden lion tamarins, which can be worth as much as $10,000, and 10 silver marmosets were stolen from a zoo

Rose Troup Buchanan
Tuesday 12 May 2015 14:03
The golden lion tamarins can be worth as much as $10,000
The golden lion tamarins can be worth as much as $10,000

Police are desperately scouring France after an “outrageous” theft saw 17 rare monkeys disappear from a zoo over the weekend.

Officers believe that the seven golden lion tamarins and 10 sliver marmosets, all belonging to the Brazilian government, were stolen by “experts” from the Beauval Zoo, 120 miles from Paris.

The thieves cut through glass windows, evading security cameras and extra night patrols, to make off with the prize monkeys – which can be worth as much as $10,000 each.

"No idea why they were taken. It's an outrageous theft. These are extremely fragile animals that need specific care," said zoo director Rodolphe Debord.

Zoo authorities expressed their concern over the “extremely rare, threatened monkeys,” one of which requires medical attention from an injury, and which all require a specific diet.

"These thieves knew exactly what monkeys they wanted to steal," he said. "There are two possibilities. Either a collector or the black market for new types of pets," he said.

Last year five rare tamarind monkeys were stolen from Blackpool zoo, in a raid that police believed was the work of criminals who deal in “prestige pets” on the black market.

There has been an increase in smuggling the rare monkeys, listed as critically endangered, since 2011, according to France-based environmental association Robin des Bois.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in