Police search for stolen monkey from Palm Beach Zoo

Palm Beach Zoo.JPG
Police search for stolen monkey from Palm Beach Zoo. (WPEC)

A monkey is missing from the Palm Beach Zoo.

The tiny animal was stolen, possibly to sell on the black market.

But there is another danger. The monkey is on medication.

The zoo isn’t saying yet how the theft happened.

But they say a monkey like this---if it gets into the wrong hands---can be sold for a small fortune.

“If anyone has any information on Kali, her family loves her and would love her returned safe and sound,” said Naki Carter, Palm Beach Zoo director of marketing and communications.

The Palm Beach Zoo says 12-year-old Kali was last seen around 6 p.m Sunday when keepers were preparing to leave for the night.

The zoo believes the female Goeldi’s monkey was stolen from her locked enclosure on the west side of the zoo at about 1 a.m. Monday when the zoo was closed.

“It’s shock. You know, there’s a lot of care and people dedicating their lives, the keepers here at the zoo to take care of these animals so when something like this happens, you can all imagine just what it feels like,” Carter said.

The zoo says a Goeldi’s monkey like this can be worth a lot of money.

“Goeldi’s monkeys are very popular on the illegal pet trade, and so since she is a female as far as breeding is concerned, she’s holding a pretty high value, upwards of $10,000 I’ve been told,” Carter said.

The monkey, which weighs about one pound, is taking anti-inflammatory medication. The zoo would not say how long she can go without that medication.

“She’s on a specialized diet, and so she also receives medication so it is of urgency that we have her returned to her zoo family,” said Carter.

Kali is micro chipped and was one of 5 Goeldi’s monkeys at the Palm Beach Zoo. It’s an endangered species native to South America.

"There are surveillance cameras at different locations around the property, that’s all I can say about that right now. We are looking at all surveillance cameras,” Carter said.

“Do you have surveillance video of this incident?” we asked.

“Can’t comment on that right now,” she answered.

How did the culprit or culprits steal a monkey?

“That remains under investigation, but I can tell you that we have some very strong leads into how someone did gain access to the zoo after hours overnight and obtained access to that habitat,” she said.

There’s a reward available through Crime Stoppers. The zoo has not said if they plan to offer their own reward for the safe return of the monkey.