Zoos in Germany, France, and the Netherlands have had their golden lion tamarins, endangered monkeys native to Brazil, stolen in recent years. Thieves have also targeted other rare animals.
Thieves Are Breaking Into Zoos and Stealing Rare Animals
Officials at the European zoos that have been targeted think organized crime is to blame.
Krefeld, GermanyOn the first day of school in Krefeld, a city in Germany near the Rhine River, the zoo was nearly empty. Overhead a low, gray sky dribbled rain, and the animals must have been enjoying the peace and quiet after the busy summer season.
“Here in Krefeld, you get very close to the animals,” said Wolfgang Dressen, the zoo director. We were standing beside the camel exhibit, where a low rope fence keeps visitors from stepping inside the enclosure. “Last year I decided to have this rope because of selfies,” Dressen said.
Moving on to the gorilla house, Dressen, a middle-aged man with blue eyes and graying brown hair, ran his finger along a metal grate he had installed around the windows.