December 31st, 2011
03:27 AM ET

Monkey business: Thieves swipe primate from California zoo

Concern was growing Saturday for the welfare of a much-loved male squirrel monkey stolen from an enclosure at San Francisco Zoo in California.

Zoo workers discovered the theft Friday morning, when they found a back perimeter gate had been breached and two holes cut in the mesh fence of the squirrel monkey exhibit.

The missing monkey, known as Banana-Sam to his keepers, is 17 years old, over 12 inches tall and weighs about 2 lb.

But his keepers warn that while he looks very cute, he is not a pet - and can deliver a nasty nip.

"He has extremely sharp teeth and will definitely bite if provoked, which can cause infections right away," the zoo said.

Primate curator Corinne MacDonald told CNN affiliate KTVU she was very worried about Banana-Sam's well-being.

"Stress can actually kill a monkey that small," she said. "They are highly social animals and should not be alone, and he's got cage-mates here that he's lived with almost all his life that are his friends, so to speak, that he needs to be with."

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    @bobcat:
    I've been told the same thing about mine!

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    December 31, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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