The Elmvale Jungle Zoo just north of Barrie, Ontario issued an emotional plea Tuesday after discovering that three of their animals had been stolen overnight. Stanley the tortoise, JC the black and white lemur and Agnes the baby Gibbon monkey were taken Monday after thieves cut a hole in a chain link fence.
“These animals aren’t animals, they’re our family,” a zoo worker said in a Facebook video, “And we’re asking for your help. If anyone saw anything in our parking lot [Monday] night between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. [Tuesday] morning, please contact CrimeStoppers.”
Wednesday, the zoo posted again to offer a $5,000 reward as well as an additional $5,000 from an “anonymous animal lover” for information leading to the return of their animals. They also thanked the public for their support as well as the students of a Brampton Grade 1 class who wrote letters appealing to the thieves to return the missing animals.
Authorities estimate that the animals are over $20,000 in value, but say the worst case scenario would be if they were released back into the wild. They believe multiple people were involved in the theft and report evidence was left behind in the form of several beer bottles. After a second hole in the fence was discovered near the flamingo enclosure, the prevailing theory was that “misguided animal activists” were responsible. There have been no public updates about the status of the missing animals since Tuesday afternoon.
Twitter users were quick to point out that it’s also a possibility that the animals escaped from the zoo themselves. Cartoon animals do it all the time.
Sure they didn’t just make a break for Pixar to do a movie? Hope they are found ok..
— rick (@RickinCanadia) May 29, 2018
I'm going to imagine them on an adventure as pals instead.
— ʎuuǝdS (@spencergoldade) May 29, 2018
It was an inside job, monkey on the left was clearly involved
— conor (@conor_vienneau) May 30, 2018
Hopefully everyone is home safe and sound soon.