At 4:30 am, early Saturday morning, a Zoo Boise guard spotted two men wearing dark clothing outside a fence near a primate exhibit. After being chased away, in their wake was a Patas monkey, left dead and beaten to death.
Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns stated:
I've been here for 15 years and we haven't had anything like this happen. It's unfortunate that we have to let kids know that something like this happens. Monkeys are always among the most favorite animals here.
One of the assailants left behind a grey baseball cap with a skull on it, an item that might help authorities track down the suspects.
Patas monkeys, aka the “military monkey”, are central African creatures that can live up to 20 years in captivity.
After being found, the monkey was taken to a zoo veterinarian, but was pronounced dead at 6 a.m. as it was being examined. An autopsy later shower the animal died of blunt force trauma.
The murdered monkey was only 2 ½ feet tall, and weighed 30 pounds. Only one Patas monkey remains in the zoo, which might be transferred to another zoo to be able to congregate with other Patas monkeys.