Zoo Boise Staff 'Devastated' Over Violent Death of Monkey


Patas monkey

Saturdays at Zoo Boise are usually magical, filled with children's laughter and adult wonderment.

But Nov. 17, tears were the order of the day as staff mourned the violent death of a Patas monkey and law enforcement combed the park for clues to determine who was responsible for the crime.

Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns said Saturday that his colleagues were in "shock" and "devastated."

A zoo security guard alerted Boise Police at approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday after spotting two men, in dark clothes, near the primate exhibit. By the time police arrived, the men had vanished but investigators spent the better part of the day looking for evidence.

Zoo officials discovered the monkey near the zoo's perimeter and immediately began care for the animal. But the monkey died shortly thereafter. A necropsy, performed later in the day, confirmed that the monkey had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Zoo Boise officials said Saturday that there hadn't been any break-in at the zoo in recent memory.

Meanwhile, Zoo Boise staff are keeping a close eye on another Patas monkey, who was the companion of the deceased animal. Because of the monkeys' extreme social nature, zoo officials said they would immediately try to find a new companion or even transfer the surviving monkey to another zoo.