Stolen monkey returned to San Francisco Zoo

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 01, 2012 1:23 PM
Stolen monkey returned to San Francisco Zoo

(Reuters) - A monkey stolen from the San Francisco Zoo has been returned in good health after a man found it in a nearby park and coaxed it into a backpack, police said.

The primate named Banana Sam was found on Saturday at Stern Grove park, which is about a mile from the zoo, said San Francisco police Officer Carlos Manfredi, a department spokesman.

The man said he saw the animal peeking out of some bushes and managed to capture it with his backpack, according to police.

Banana Sam was stolen from the zoo sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning. The gate to the cage containing Banana Sam and 17 other monkeys was breached and at least one hole was made into the cage itself, Manfredi said.

The man who found Banana Sam called authorities, and officers transported the animal back to the zoo, police said.

"I was told he is in good health," Manfredi said.

The investigation is still continuing into how Banana Sam was taken from the zoo, and the man who found the monkey was questioned and identified, Manfredi said. Police are not naming the man.

A representative from the San Francisco Zoo could not be reached for comment.

A mock Twitter feed purporting to be from the monkey gave regular joke "updates" while he was missing. One message posted after he was discovered read, "That's the last time I ever crawl into someone's backpack who says we're going to an 'awesome party, dude.'"

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)