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Eight rare simians stolen from a Kolkata zoo

     Kolkata: Eight rare simians were stolen from their enclosure from Alipore Zoological Garden in West Bengal on Saturday. The stolen Brazilian common marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus) have grey heads and furry white ears and weigh between 500 grams to 700 grams. The stolen marmosets include two males, two females and four adults, which were donated to the Zoo by the Delhi-based Institute of Immunology in January 2001. The zoo authorities are rather surprised because theft was committed inspite of security guards. "These miscreants came during the night on 8th August and actually cut the net by some weapons and taken away the marmosets. Unfortunately that particular enclosure was entrusted to watch over by a security agency and two of them were entrusted from 5 pm in 8th August to 6 am till the next day," said Subir Kumar Choudhury, Director of Alipore Zoological Garden. "Two of the personnel were engaged but it was surprising how it got stolen. We have informed the local police and hey have started investigations. The investigation is under process," he added. It is the first reported theft of the Zoo, earlier in March, an attempt was made to steal a marmoset, which the alert guards had got hold of. There are only two zoos in India, which houses these common marmosets. They are in Kolkata and Mysore. The Zoo has eight more marmosets in another enclosure just 400 feet away from the cage where the break in occurred. Collectors and illegal breeding centres prize animals like marmosets. The specie is in high demand for research in reproductive biology and endocrinology abroad because of their genetic proximity to human beings.
-August 10, 2009

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