Zoo Boise workers surprised by national attention from death of monkey
Jennifer Auh reports on the latest with the monkey death in Zoo Boise. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Two weeks have passed, since a monkey was killed by an intruder in Zoo Boise.
Since then, the zoo leaders said the outpouring of support they've received from our community and the rest of the country have been overwhelming. People have brought in flowers, mourning the shocking death of the animal.
The tragic killing of the monkey also drew national attention, which caught Zoo Boise workers by surprise.
"It’s been interesting to have that national attention. This issue caught the attention of many people, not just here in Boise, but around the country, and zoo’s across the country have called us and have been very supportive,” said Steve Burns, Zoo Boise Director.
Zoo Boise received cards of sympathy from even Ohio and Virginia, with letters extending their condolences to the staff. The zoo workers also received a beautiful painting of a patas monkey.
"Zoo keepers at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle sent us a bouquet of fruit to put in with the remaining patas monkey, it was really nice,” said Burns.
Two weeks ago, Zoo Boise was closed for several hours, after a guard witnessed two men near the primate exhibit. One of the patas monkeys was found lying near the fence with severe injuries to the head and neck, then died a short time later.
Police arrested and charged the man, 22-year-old Michael Watkins of Weiser, two days later. Watkins has a preliminary hearing, coming up later this week.
Now, the zoo keepers are keeping a close eye on the remaining monkey. Patas monkeys are known to be social creatures, so the zoo keepers are giving the animal, extra attention to make sure he's not bored.
"We’re giving him different food, extra toys, extra activities to do,” said Burns.
The zoo director told us he's still working with zoo’s in other cities, and has yet to make a decision on what to do with the remaining monkey. The choices boil down to bringing in a friend for the monkey or sending him over to another zoo.