Stolen monkeys found in Brighouse

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Tamarins The Tamarins

Rare monkeys stolen from a zoo in Lancashire have been found in Yorkshire.

Four of the monkeys taken from Blackpool Zoo this week in what police described as a "planned and pre-meditated" break-in, are believed to have been found on a doorstep in Brighouse last night.

But a baby monkey remains missing.

On Tuesday, raiders cut a hole in the zoo’s perimeter fence and removed the locks from two separate monkey enclosures.

They took two female and one baby cotton-top tamarin, which are a critically endangered species, and two male emperor tamarins.

Charlotte Pennie, head of primates at the zoo, has now collected the monkeys from Yorkshire.

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.

"We would like to thank everyone for their support in helping us find the monkeys which were all born here at Blackpool Zoo and are very much part of our family.

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

The cotton-top tamarin is considered one of the world's most endangered primates.

There are said to be about 6,000 such monkeys left in the wild in their native Colombia, with numbers largely reduced through deforestation.

Lancashire Police said no arrests had been made yet.

PC Steve Higgs said: "This is still a live inquiry as we continue to investigate who was responsible for the thefts.

"I would appeal to anyone who has information or any witnesses who saw anything suspicious on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning to get in touch."

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