Outrage as zoo puts down endangered monkeys

Via London’s Metro:

Outrage as zoo puts down endangered monkeys
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A zoo sparked uproar among animal welfare groups on Wednesday by killing two endangered monkeys.

Newquay Zoo said it had to ‘euthanise’ the black crested macaques because it could not find a suitable home for them.

It put down the primates, named Venus and Ia, ‘after much soul-searching’,

The zoo’s director, Stewart Muir, said the two males had to be separated, which ‘could not continue, as primates should never be kept alone’.

But a monkey sanctuary, also in Cornwall, said Newquay Zoo never contacted it for help.

Looe Monkey Sanctuary keeper Matt Thomas said: ‘What they have done is horrendous.’ Black crested macaques are the most endangered of the six macaque species, which live on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Mr Muir argued that killing the monkeys would free up space to bring females into the zoo’s breeding programme.

He added: ‘The only option was to put them to sleep. We all feel very sad but we are dedicated to the long-term conservation of this species.’

But Mr Thomas said: ‘Monkeys can be kept apart by plastic and will still find being surrounded by other monkeys enthralling.

‘They can be socialised. The zoo could have built new enclosures. To argue the monkeys can not get on – so let’s kill both of them – is horrific.’

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