Authorities Arrest Man for Stealing Endangered Monkeys in France

Man Arrested for Stealing Endangered Monkeys in France

The police authorities arrested a man for stealing endangered monkeys at a tropical zoo in La Londe-les-Maures, France.

On Friday (February 2, 2024), judicial sources stated that a judge in the southern French city of Marseille summoned a man accused of stealing 14 endangered squirrel monkeys from a zoo.

Last January 26-27, several individuals entered a tropical zoo in La Londe-les-Maures, located around 70 kilometers (43 miles) east of Marseille. The suspects took away 14 monkeys belonging to the Saimiri genus, also known as squirrel monkeys.


Based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, these monkeys originated from Central and South America and are listed as endangered. The stolen monkeys can be sold for thousands of euros each on the black market.

Senior prosecutor Samuel Finielz of the Mediterranean city of Toulon reported that an individual was caught in Marseille, and three of the monkeys were discovered following the theft.

In the south of Marseille, in the basement of the apartment building where the suspect lives, police found one of the monkeys. A member of the public discovered two more, a mother and her youngster, outside their home and immediately contacted the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA).


Every monkey had identification chips placed in them from the time they were born in the zoo. The 20-year-old suspect denies having anything to do with the crime. He was, nevertheless, taken before an investigating magistrate and held for 48 hours.

The maximum punishment for both stealing and holding and transporting a protected species as a member of an organized gang was seven years in prison, according to the prosecution’s accusations.

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It seems clear there were several people aboard the vehicle, and this theft required planning ahead,” Finielz said.

The prosecution ordered the suspect to remain in detention to stop evidence from being destroyed and contact with potential accomplices. The 11 surviving monkeys have a very short life expectancy without proper care, therefore authorities ask anyone with knowledge of where they’re located to contact the police.

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