Endangered monkeys stolen by zoo raiders turn up in Yorkshire

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Monkeys stolen from a zoo in what police said appeared to be a “planned and pre-meditated” break-in have been found in West Yorkshire.

Raiders cut a hole in the perimeter fence of Blackpool Zoo and removed the locks from two separate enclosures last Tuesday.

They took two female and one baby cotton-top tamarin, which are a critically endangered species, and two male emperor tamarins.

But the zoo confirmed four of the five monkeys had been recovered from an address in Brighouse on Friday evening and were now safely back at the zoo.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, it said: “We are absolutely delighted to confirm that four of the stolen tamarins are safely back at the zoo.

“Sadly, the baby was not found.

“They were recovered by police in Yorkshire late last night and their keeper drove over to collect them. We should like to thank everyone involved with the media and social media for spreading the word so far and wide.”

After they were stolen, Lancashire Police said it believed the monkeys were targeted specifically and their details were circulated to all ports and airports in case the thieves tried to take them abroad.

A spokesman said no-one had yet been arrested in connection with the theft.

Pc Steve Higgs said: “We were inundated with calls from the public and I would like to thank everyone for their support.

“This is still a live inquiry as we continue to investigate who was responsible for the thefts.”