TWO people have been arrested on suspicion of handling 18 stolen monkeys, including two taken from Hamerton Zoo Park, near Sawtry. A total of 12 marmoset monkeys were taken from Hamerton in April, two of which were recovered in June, but have since died.
TWO people have been arrested on suspicion of handling 18 stolen monkeys, including two taken from Hamerton Zoo Park, near Sawtry.
A total of 12 marmoset monkeys were taken from Hamerton in April, two of which were recovered in June, but have since died. Police believe the monkeys were stolen to order, possibly to be supplied to illegal drug dealers as pets.
Ten monkeys are still missing from the zoo and owner Andrew Swales admitted that chances of recovering them were slim.
"It looks unlikely that the remaining marmosets will be recovered and unfortunately the conditions they are likely to be in now are very poor," he said.
Last Thursday a man and a woman, both in their thirties from Sheffield, were arrested and bailed on suspicion of handling 18 marmosets believed to have been taken earlier this year from Hamerton and zoos in Devon and Sussex.
In June, two 35-year-old men from Tunstall, Staffordshire, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen property in connection with the missing monkeys.
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Mr Swales added: "We welcome news of the arrests but we are still shocked.
"The April burglary was the first such incident for 20 years and was very carefully planned. We have since upgraded our security measures.
"Marmosets are often stolen to order and used as trophies or tokens by drug dealers so any police progress in catching those involved is very good news.