Zoo reports baby monkey snatched

March 11, 2008 5:29:01 AM PDT

The 6-inch, three-month-old titi monkey was stolen Sunday from the La Plata zoo, which was filled with 4,000 visitors at the time. Authorities say they are searching for two young men and asking visitors to come forward with any pictures they may have taken at the time of the theft at the zoo southeast of Buenos Aires.

Titi monkeys are sometimes traded illegally as pets.

Zoo director Daniel Arregui said the two suspects distracted guards by breaking the padlock on the pen of four racoon-like animals, then cut through the wire enclosure holding the monkey. After snatching the monkey, they apparently jumped over a fence into a nearby park, Arregui told government news agency Telam.

Zoo guide Nicolas Gutierrez said the two suspects were wearing soccer jerseys. The theft occurred while 4,000 visitors were in the zoo and caused "quite a stir," he said.

The baby was one of nearly 20 titi monkeys of the Callicebus genus in the zoo, Gutierrez said. The monkeys are native to South America and can be found from Colombia to Brazil, and parts of Peru and Paraguay.


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