Stolen monkey found in Brighouse gives birth

A monkey stolen from Blackpool Zoo has now given birth to healthy twins.
A monkey stolen from Blackpool Zoo has now given birth to healthy twins.

A stolen endangered monkey that was taken from Blackpool Zoo and found in Brighouse earlier this year has given birth to healthy twins.

The cotton-top tamarin called Mamma was one of five monkeys taken in a planned raid in April – and keepers have now confirmed she was pregnant at the time.

The monkeys were eventually recovered when they were found in a box outside a house on Brookfoot Lane, Brighouse.

While four of the monkeys were returned to the zoo, her baby was never found.

But now she has two new-borns to care for after giving birth on August 1.

Staff at the zoo say mother and babies are doing well despite her traumatic experience.

Charlotte Pennie, senior primate keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Keepers at Blackpool Zoo were devastated earlier this year when five of our monkeys were stolen, as every single animal we have here is considered a member of our zoo family.

“We worked very closely with Lancashire Police and, following huge media interest, four of the five were found days later.

“The two new babies, who are yet to be sexed and named, are doing extremely well and we are delighted for. The pair are also vital for the international breeding programme, so it is great news all round.”

The burglary of the monkeys from the zoo happened overnight between April 29 and April 30 when offenders cut a hole in the perimeter fence and approached two separate monkey enclosures.

They then removed the locks and took monkeys from each enclosure.

The monkeys, which are a critically endangered species, can fetch up to thousands of pounds on the black market in the UK and abroad.

The cotton-top tamarin is one of the smallest primates in the world and weighs approximately 0.5kg. They are found in tropical forest edges and secondary forests in north west Colombia.