Brazilian monkey theft: WB border areas on alert, 2 held
Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2009, 19:24
Kolkata: An alert was on Monday sounded in West Bengal's border areas and security tightened in airport and railway stations here to prevent smuggle of eight Brazilian monkeys stolen from Alipore Zoo, even as two security guards manning the cages of the rare species were arrested.

Police produced the two arrested guards in a local court.

According to Zoo director Subir Chowdhury, the theft of the marmosets -- a midget-sized simian species measuring 14-18 cm and weighing about 450 gm —- was detected yesterday when attendants found a part of their cage broken and eight of the monkeys missing. Four of the eight missing simians were full-grown, he said.

Meanwhile, a CID team visited the zoo during the day.

Trinamool Congress and Congress staged demonstrations in the zoo condemning security lapses and demanded resignation of Forest Minister Ananta Roy.

Altogether 16 Brazilian monkeys were brought to the Alipore zoo in 2001, but some of them perished after failing to adjust to the weather condition, the zoo director said.

There is a high demand for the species in zoological research due to their genetic proximity to human beings. A pair costs about USD 3,000.

Apart from Kolkata, the only other zoo in India that houses the species is in Mysore.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 10, 2009, 19:24

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