Feb. 12 (UPI) — Police are searching for a small, 12-year-old monkey believed to have been stolen from her enclosure at a Florida zoo.
The Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach said Kali, a 1-pound female Goeldi’s monkey, was last seen Sunday night and is believed to have been taken at about 1 a.m. Monday, when the facility was closed to the public.
The zoo said security cameras captured grainy footage of someone approaching the enclosure. Zoo staff said the mesh netting around the enclosure had been cut.
“We have some very strong leads into how someone did gain access to the zoo after hours overnight and obtained access to that habitat to take her,” spokeswoman Naki Carter said at a Monday evening news conference.
Carter said Kali requires a special diet and needs daily medication for “anti-inflammatory issues.”
“It is of urgency that we have her returned to her zoo family,” Carter said. “Every minute is of the essence.”
Investigators said Goeldi’s monkeys are popular in the illegal pet trade. Carter said officials are concerned the thief could be planning to use Kali for breeding.
“She’s holding a pretty high value, upwards of $ 10,000,” Carter told reporters. “That is a very somber thought for us to have to be thinking about and contending with. But it is, when we think of motive, it’s where our mindsets went immediately.”