GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — A squirrel monkey, tiny and considered cute, the primate native to Central and South America is the latest target of thieves.
“It’s upsetting to find out what is going on out there and hopefully it doesn’t happen to us,” says the director of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Joel Hamilton.
The latest in a series of bizarre incidents at the Dallas Zoo was the theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys that went missing Monday and were found alive Tuesday afternoon.
Over the weekend, a dozen squirrel monkeys were stolen from a zoo in Louisiana and have not been located as of Wednesday afternoon.
Hamilton has already had conversations with his staff to make sure all creatures great and small at his zoo are safe and secure.
“We do a variety of checks every single day,” said Hamilton. “The key is, we have a presence here 24 hours a day.”
That includes using security cameras and walking patrols of the property.
“We do wellness checks to make sure everybody is home and safe,” said Hamilton. “We also do containment checks to make sure the exhibits are contained and left the way we intended them to be.”
The zoo is not immune to crimes like this. Hamilton says a capuchin monkey was taken from the zoo’s previous location but no such incidents have happened since the zoo moved to its current location in 2020 and they are doing everything they can to make sure it stays that way.