MONCTON, N.B. - The general manager of a New Brunswick zoo says staff are distraught after a pint-sized primate was nabbed from his cage overnight.
Bruce Dougan says workers at Moncton's Magnetic Hill Zoo went to check on the squirrel monkey exhibit early today only to discover that Hercules, the 19-year-old patriarch of the group, was missing.
Dougan says whoever stole the tiny, black-and-olive coloured animal somehow broke into the zoo and cut through two padlocks to gain access to the cage, which houses five other squirrel monkeys.
He says staff are worried about Hercules's well-being, noting that his one- to two-pound frame requires a special, vitamin-rich diet.
Dougan says squirrel monkeys are not very common in captivity and only live for about 21 years, which makes the aging monkey's disappearance particularly distressing.
He says the RCMP are investigating the break-in and theft, which is the second in the zoo's history.
Dougan says someone made off with a tortoise about 15 years ago, but the animal was never found.