A 61-year-old man was arrested and charged Tuesday in the theft of 12 squirrel monkeys from a zoo in Broussard, Louisiana, police said.
The animals, however, have not yet been found, Broussard Police Chief Vance Olivier told News84Media.
The 12 squirrel monkeys were taken during a break-in at the zoo that targeted facilities of smaller primates, Zoosiana said on its Facebook page last week.
The suspect, Joseph Raymond Randall, was tied to the squirrel monkey thefts after police reviewed video footage from the zoo and received several phone calls from members of the public, the police chief said.
Randall was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty and one count of simple burglary for the incident, according to Olivier. He is scheduled to appear before a judge Friday morning.
It’s unclear whether Randall has retained an attorney.
As the monkeys remain missing, the chief urged anyone with information on their whereabouts to call authorities in Broussard.
“While this situation continues to be incredibly upsetting, we are very thankful for the tremendous progress that has been made to get this case to where it is today,” Zoosiana said in a statement obtained by News84Media affiliate. KATC.
The zoo did not say how many squirrel monkeys it still had but noted the remaining monkeys were assessed by a veterinarian and animal care team after the break-in and were in good health.
The monkey thefts at the Louisiana zoo come after a series of unusual incidents involving animals at a zoo in Dallas – including the disappearance of two emperor tamarin monkeys found a day later in an abandoned home about 15 miles away, officials there said.