Monkey dies from blow to head after zoo break-in

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Associated Press

Posted on November 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 17 at 11:30 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A break-in at Zoo Boise early today has left a Patas monkey dead from blunt force trauma to the head and neck and police are analyzing blood found at the scene to determine if it came from the monkey or one of two human intruders.

Police say two males wearing dark clothing were spotted by a security guard at 4:30 a.m. outside the fence near the primate exhibit. Both fled, one of them heading into the interior of the zoo. Boise police used a thermal imager in searching the 11-acre zoo grounds but didn't find the person.

Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns says he's been at the facility for 15 years and hasn't seen anything like this. He says "It's unfortunate that we have to let kids know that something like this happens. Monkeys are always among the most favorite animals here."

Patas monkeys have reddish-brown fur with grey chin whiskers and distinctive white moustaches. They're widely distributed across central Africa south of the Sahara Desert and can live more than 20 years in captivity.

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