Zoo Boise mourns Patas monkey; tragic death leaves community shocked, saddened, confused
Eric Fink has the story. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The Zoo Boise community is mourning the loss of a male Patas monkey found today after an early morning break-in.
"Everybody here at the zoo is devastated," Zoo Director Steve Burns said. "Our staff and volunteers care deeply about the welfare of the animals they tend on a daily basis."
According to the Boise Police Department, a necropsy conducted by veterinarian Holly Peters showed that the monkey died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
Burns said that all the other zoo animals are accounted for and uninjured. Boise police continue to investigate the crime. Patas monkeys are fairly large ground-dwelling animals from the plains of Africa. At 2 ½ feet, they typically weigh 35 pounds. 325,000 people visit Zoo Boise every year, and Burns said the Primate House is a popular place for people to visit.
"It's sad to have to tell kids that one of their favorite animals is gone," Burns said.
There is now only one male Patas monkey at the zoo. Both of the animals came to Zoo Boise three years ago from the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa Bay, Florida.
"Because monkeys are social animals we are concerned about the welfare of the remaining animal," said Burns.
He continued by saying that the zoo will either have to explore opportunities to find a replacement or move the remaining animal to another zoo.
"We take safety seriously - for our animals, visitors and staff," said Burns.
Saturday night, the On Your Side newsroom learned investigators found a hat at the crime they hope will lead to an arrest. It's a gray baseball-style cap with a skull and wings design.
Police also collected blood evidence at the crime scene. They don't know whether the blood sample is from the monkey or a possible suspect.
If you have any information about this crime please call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS. Boise Police is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Zoo officials are reviewing security protocols. For more information about Zoo Boise, see www.zooboise.org or call (208) 384-4125.
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