Zoo Boise mourns death of Patas monkey


Update: November 19, 2012

First of all, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the community for their support at this time. Your thoughts have helped all of us to get through this and gives us hope that these perpetrators will be caught. If you have any information regarding this crime, we encourage you to contact the Boise Police Department at 208-343-COPS. Thank you to everyone who has brought flowers or other memorial items to the zoo. We are setting up a memorial area near the Primate House for these to be displayed.

We have received many requests about how to donate to the zoo in memory of the Patas monkey. Donations may be made online here or by calling 208-384-4125 x200.

Donations will go to Zoo Boise’s Animal Fund, which is used to bring new animals to the zoo.

Others have asked about donating to the reward currently offered by the Boise Police Department. You can do so by contacting Boise Area Crime Stoppers at

As for the other Patas monkey, zoo staff is currently working to figure out if another monkey will be coming to Boise or if we will be sending this monkey to another AZA accredited facility. It is not the quickest process; we hope to have more information later this week or early next for you. The Zookeepers are giving extra attention and enrichment to the Patas monkey for now.

November 17, 2012

Thank you again for all the support you have given to Zoo Boise.The Zoo Boise community is mourning the loss of a male Patas monkey found today after an early morning break-in by two intruders.

“Everybody here at the zoo is devastated,” said Zoo Director Steve Burns. “Our staff and volunteers care deeply about the welfare of the animals they tend on a daily basis.

”Boise Police are investigating the crime. To learn more, see

Veterinarian Holly Peters is conducting a necropsy of the monkey to determine the cause of death. All the other zoo animals are accounted for and uninjured.

Patas monkeys are fairly large ground-dwelling animals from the plains of Africa. At 2 ½ feet, they typically weigh 35 pounds. The Primate House is a popular stop for the 325,000 annual visitors to Zoo Boise. “It’s sad to have to tell kids that one of their favorite animals is gone,” says Burns.

Patas monkeys are rare in zoos but are not endangered in the wild, says Burns. There is one remaining male Patas monkey at the Zoo. Both of the animals came to Zoo Boise three years ago from the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa Bay, Florida.

“Because monkeys are social animals we are concerned about the welfare of the remaining animal,” says Burns. The zoo will explore opportunities to replace the monkey or move the remaining animal to another zoo.

Zoo Boise was recently re-accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). To be accredited, Zoo Boise underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

“We take safety seriously – for our animals, visitors and staff,” said Burns. Zoo officials are reviewing security protocols.

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