Last Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | 6:12 PM ET
Staff at the Greater Vancouver Zoo are devastated after someone killed one of the facility's spider monkeys and apparently stole the other one overnight Tuesday.
The culprit or culprits cut through the fence of the spider monkey exhibit Tuesday night, killing the male, Jocko, and apparently removing the female, zoo spokeswoman Jody Henderson told CBC News on Wednesday morning.
"We can't find our female anywhere, and so we are assuming at this stage that she is gone with them," said Henderson.
"We are absolutely devastated. They are our family. We are all extremely attached. It's shocking anyone would do this," said Henderson.Jocko, a male spider monkey, was found dead by staff at the zoo Wednesday morning. (Courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Zoo)
The two monkeys were both 17, and had lived at the zoo for 15 years, said Henderson.
The zoo appealed to the public for help on Wednesday and said it would be difficult for anyone without specialized training to keep the monkey as a pet.
Henderson said it was possible the monkey could have been stolen for sale on the black market, or it could have escaped on its own through the hole in the fence.
The missing monkey is described as about 50 centimetres tall. It is dark brown in colour, with a golden stomach and chest. It has steel blue eyes.
Anyone spotting the monkey is warned not to approach it because it may be traumatized, and is asked to call the zoo immediately.
"We need to find our female and find out who are these cruel individuals who would do such an awful thing," said Henderson.
RCMP said they have no indication yet why the monkey might have been stolen.