Update 2/13/2019 9:09 a.m. ET: Early Wednesday morning, West Palm Beach Police tweeted that “Kali is home!” WPBF reports that detectives returned her to zoo officials late last night, but have not said where she was found. Our original story follows.
Have you seen this primate? Authorities in Florida are asking the public for help after a tiny monkey weighing about one pound (one pound!) was stolen from a Palm Beach zoo, the AP reports.
Zoo officials told the Sun-Sentinel that Kali, a 12-year-old Goeldi’s monkey, was last seen Sunday night. The next morning, they found signs of a break-in—and Kali was gone.
“Our animal staff noticed that the mesh on her enclosure was cut open,” Margo McKnight, president and CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, told the Sun-Sentinel. “This very small and rare monkey is increasingly sought after for the illegal pet trade.”
Officials told the paper that Kali requires a special diet and daily anti-inflammation medication. Females like Kali, they said, can be sold for as much as $10,000 on the black market.
Also known as Goeldi’s marmosets, the rare monkeys are native to the Amazon basin, where they eat fruit, insects, and even fungi. In the wild, Goeldi’s monkeys have been observed living in tight social groups, with individuals usually staying within 50 feet of one another.
“An individual that became isolated from the group by more than 20-30 m [about 65 to 100 feet], or appeared unsure of what direction to travel in would make contact with the rest of the group by making a loud shrilling call,” wrote researchers in 1981, “which would be responded to in like fashion by other group members.”
A total reward of $6,000 is now being offered for information leading to Kali’s return, WPTV reports. Those who can help locate Kali are urged to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.
“Time is of the essence,” a zoo spokesperson told the station on Tuesday, “we need Kali returned.”