Blackpool Zoo stolen monkeys: Four found but baby still missing

Two female and one baby cotton-top tamarins and two male emperor tamarins were taken

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Four of the five monkeys stolen during a "targeted" break-in at Blackpool Zoo have been found, police said.

Two female and one baby cotton-top tamarins and two male emperor tamarins were taken by thieves who broke into their enclosures on Tuesday night.

Lancashire Police said the baby monkey was still missing after the others were found on a doorstep in Brighouse, West Yorkshire on Friday evening.

Charlotte Pennie, head of primates at the zoo, collected the animals.

One of the stolen cotton-top tamarins that has been returned Four of the five monkeys were found on a doorstep in Brighouse, West Yorkshire
'Market for monkeys'

Tamarins

Cotton-top tamarins
  • Cotton-top tamarins are one of the world's most endangered primates
  • There are said to be about 6,000 in the wild in their native Colombia, with numbers largely reduced through deforestation
  • Emperor tamarins, named because of their imperial-looking moustaches, are native to the Amazon rainforest

She said: "We are extremely relieved that four of the monkeys have been found safe and well, although we are also saddened that the baby cotton-top tamarin has not been found.

"The monkeys have all been checked and reintroduced back into their group."

Officers said they had been "making inquiries across Europe" as there was "definitely a market for the monkeys".

They said the thieves had cut a hole in a perimeter fence to get in.

PC Steve Higgs said: "We were inundated with calls from members of the public.

"This is still a live inquiry as we continue to investigate who was responsible for the thefts."

The animals can fetch up to thousands of pounds on the black market in the UK and abroad.

Cotton-top tamarin and emperor tamarin Two female and one baby cotton-top tamarins and two male emperor tamarins were taken

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