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Success Stories

Stolen pygmy monkeys rescued

Posted in Success Stories

Three rare pygmy marmoset monkeys stolen from a wildlife park near Sydney were rescued with the assistance of Crime Stoppers.

Three rare pygmy marmoset monkeys stolen from a wildlife park near Sydney were rescued with the assistance of Crime Stoppers.

When the three monkeys were found to be missing from the Symbio Wildlife Park south of Sydney, police were called to the park where they found evidence of forced entry into the monkeys’ enclosure.

After a public appeal to return the monkeys, a call to Crime Stoppers led police to stop and search a car at Appin, 30 kilometres from the park.

The police found a baby monkey alive in the car, while a second monkey, Sophia, was found in the Campbelltown area later in the evening following extensive inquiries by police. The third monkey, named Gomez, was found in Tahmoor following reports the animal had been left in a box on the front doorstep of a vet.

The two men in the car, a 23-year-old and a 26-year-old, were questioned by police, arrested and taken to Campbelltown police station where they were both charged with dealing with proceeds of a crime.

All three monkeys were eventually returned to the wildlife park for further examination and care. There was particular concern about the four-week-old baby pygmy marmoset, whose continued separation from its mother would most likely have been fatal, as it was still suckling.

When the baby was reunited with its Mum, she cradled the baby straight into her arms and it immediately began to feed.

The second monkey, 10-month-old Sofia, was received in “OK condition, hungry and understandably scared”, then reunited with her family.

Wildlife park staff thanked the public for their support saying it had been “absolutely critical” to the baby marmoset being returned.

It is likely there was a financial motivation behind the theft of the rare animals.

Pygmy marmoset monkeys, native to South America, are the world’s smallest monkeys.

In Australia, exotic animals such as monkeys can only be held by people with an appropriate licence, usually only for exhibition or conservation purposes, and cannot be sold commercially or kept as pets by private owners.

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