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Squirrel Monkey ‘Banana Sam’ Stolen From SF Zoo

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Squirrel monkeys at the San Francisco Zoo (Sonoma State University)

Squirrel monkeys at the San Francisco Zoo (Sonoma State University)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – San Francisco Zoo officials are asking for the public’s help after a monkey was stolen from an exhibit overnight.

Friday morning zoo staff discovered a 17-year-old male squirrel monkey, “Banana Sam,” was missing from an exhibit that had been breached by vandals, according to a statement released by the zoo.

Banana-Sam weighs approximately 2 pounds and is more than a foot tall, zoo officials said.

Despite the monkey’s small and cute appearance, it should not be handled as a pet because it has extremely sharp teeth and “will definitely bite if provoked,” officials said in the statement.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

According to zoo officials, the vandals cut a perimeter gate overnight and climbed on top of a roof sheltering five primate exhibits. The vandals cut two holes into the mesh of the squirrel monkey exhibit.

“This was a criminal act of vandalism and trespassing, and we are working with police to identify the perpetrators,” San Francisco Zoological Society president and executive director Tanya Peterson said.

Banana-Sam arrived at the zoo with 20 other squirrel monkeys after funding for a local research program was discontinued.

“He is a valued member of the zoo, and we wish for a safe and speedy return,” officials said in the statement.

Anyone with information regarding Banana-Sam’s whereabouts is asked to contact the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-8090.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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