BROUSSARD, La. (KLFY) — Inside Zoosiana, 12 squirrel monkeys were stolen from their habitat in the middle of the night. The zoo was broken into shortly before midnight Saturday, officials said in a social media post.
Broussard Police Chief Vance Olivier says they have video footage that they are looking over to help capture the suspect(s).
“The remaining squirrel monkeys have been carefully assessed by both the Zoosiana veterinarian and animal care team, and there are no other apparent issues affecting their health or well being,” officials said Monday. “All other animals are accounted for and appear to have been undisturbed.”
It’s a unique investigation but that doesn’t change the protocol.
“In the 13 years of law enforcement, we haven’t really investigated theft of squirrel monkeys,” Olivier said. “We’re going to continue investigating it as any other crime that’s has taken place.”
Zoosiana Director Matt Oldenburg says the focus is to keep the rest of the zoo animals on track.
“We checked the remaining squirrel monkeys to make sure there was nothing wrong outside of the situation that occurred,” he said. “We’re working hard to rebuild their comfort.”
Oldenburg said squirrel monkeys require special care and the person or persons who stole them may not know enough about them to provide that care.
“Do they need a special diet or not? Do they require special health care or medication? If they dont feel well, what sort of environmental enhancement do they need?”
Oldenburg says even for the squirrel monkeys, when one is missing those who remain are aware something is out of place.
“What are their favorite food items and making sure they have plenty of that, familiar enrichment activities, and rebuilding that bond with our animal care staff,” Oldenburg said.
Olivier said, if you hear anything suspicious such as within a neighbor’s home or noises that are out of the norm, let law enforcement know.
“If you hear something, we really want to get these animals back to their natural habitat where they’ve been for a while.”
To provide information contact Broussard Police Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS or Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.