Anorak News | Monkey Business

Monkey Business

by | 14th, September 2004

‘“PSSST! Wanna buy a macaque?” “A ma-what, my good man?” “A macaque, squire. A monkey.” “A monkey. For a macaque? I’ll give you a pony.” “A pony? Shetland or Dartmoor?”

You pay peanuts, you get a second-rate monkey

These days, you can scarcely go into the Dog & Duck pub opposite Anorak Towers without being offered any number of exotic animals on the cheap.

But our advice to potential customers is that, however desperate you are for a cotton-top tamarind, think carefully before parting with your hard-earned.

The Independent says that the animals in question are likely to be as kosher as a pork chop.

Professional thieves are apparently behind a spate of raids on zoos, highlighting what the paper says is “the increasingly criminal trade in rare and exotic creatures”.

A small monkey, such as a marmoset or a squirrel monkey, can apparently fetch about £1,000 (or two monkeys) on the black market.

A common tortoise (which has the advantage of being pretty easy to catch) sells for £200, a pedigree Labrador goes for more than £500 and a single koi carp can fetch more than £2,000.

But the bulk of the trade is in rare birds, which range in value from £500 for an African grey parrot to £10,000 for a green-winged macaw.

The Indy says almost 40 monkeys have been stolen from Britain’s zoos and animal centres this year.

And some monkeys are just plain unlucky – Joe (a baby squirrel monkey) was recently stolen for the second time in a matter of months from the Shaldon Wildlife Trust in Devon.

Tracey Moore, director of the Trust, said the latest raid was a complete shock.

“They had by-passed the security,” she said. “It was someone who knew exactly what they were doing.”

Police say they are looking for two silvery marmosets and a tortoise believed to answer to the name of Dave.’

Posted: 14th, September 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink