Rare monkeys stolen from Amersfoort zoo
Five Golden-headed Lion Tamarins were stolen from the Apenheul Zoo in Apeldoorn, in the night from Sunday to Monday.
The monkeys are an endangered species and have a specific diet, according to a spokesperson from the Zoo.
The theft causes a lot of stress for the animals, in addition to it already being too cold for them outside this time of year. The family of five, mother, father, and three children, are micro-chipped, so they should surface the moment they are scanned anywhere.
Police are looking for clues in the park and reviewing camera footage. 'We don't think this is the work of animal activists. The Lion Tamarins can only survive in a tropical rainforest. We think the monkeys were stolen for people who want the animals for themselves,' said the Zoo informant to NU.nl.
Last year 13 dwarf monkeys were stolen from the nearby Wissel Zoo. The monkeys were never found.
The thieves forced the gate to the Apenheul Zoo and forced their way into the animals' habitat. They took the animals in their sleeping cage. It is prohibited to keep monkeys as pets in the Netherlands, but allowed in many other countries in the world, including many European countries.
The Golden-headed Lion Tamarin can only be found in the wild in Brazil. There are only a few hundred of the monkeys left in the wild. The dwarf monkeys, with a maximum height of 25 cm are endangered, and the European specimens are all used in breeding programs.