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.