Posts tagged: Boise Zoo
Boise's city zoo will welcome two new female Patas monkeys within the next few seeks, the city announced today; they'll join the zoo's sole surviving Patas monkey, a male, who was left on his own after his cagemate was killed in a bizarre break-in at the zoo Nov. 17. The zoo is planning a new 1,500-square-foot exhibit for the monkeys, with indoor and outdoor living space and three large viewing windows for the public.
“As Boise has done so many times in the past, we are going to turn a tragedy into a positive new beginning,” said Mayor Dave Bieter, “and prove that no single event can dampen our spirit or discourage us from believing in Boise as a truly wonderful place to live.” The Friends of Zoo Boise, a volunteer group, has pledged to raise $209,000 for the new exhibit.
Prosecutors say 22-year-old Michael Jacob Watkins broke into the zoo to steal the monkey, and that he beat it to death with a tree branch after the monkey bit him. The Weiser resident is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 5. Click below for the full announcement from the city.
The father of a 22-year-old man accused of killing a monkey after breaking into an Idaho zoo said he believes the tragedy was a drunken prank that got out of hand and “turned into a horrible situation,” the Idaho Statesman newspaper reports. Michael J. Watkins was arrested Monday and faces at least two felonies: burglary, for allegedly breaking into Zoo Boise; and grand theft, for allegedly taking the monkey and beating it so severely that it later died. His first court appearance is set for Wednesday. Watkins' father, Jerry Watkins, defended his son to the newspaper, saying he is “not a malicious monkey murderer;” click below for a full report from the AP and the Statesman.
Michael Watkins, 22, of Weiser, has been charged with two felonies, burglary and grand theft, in connection with the death of a Patas monkey at the Boise Zoo early Saturday morning. He was arrested this afternoon in Washington County, where he is currently in custody; click below for the full Boise Police Department news release.
“I know the community demands and deserves answers to the many questions that surround this senseless crime,” Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson said at a news conference this evening. “This case is long on emotions and short on facts, for the time being.” More information will come out during the court process to come, he said. “We obviously have more information than we are able to provide tonight. Our detectives have done an outstanding job.”
The arrest was made around 2 p.m. today, Masterson said, following up on a citizen tip received last night, and the suspect's seeking treatment at a local hospital where “the story did not seem to mesh with the injuries.”
Masterson said the second person sighted outside the zoo has been identified and contacted, but not charged. The suspect who was arrested had injuries to his upper torso, the chief said. A gray baseball cap that was recovered inside the zoo “was found to be the hat that the individual, the suspect that we arrested, had worn that evening,” Masterson said. He added, “These may not be the only two charges that this individual faces.”
Police have arrested one person in connection with the death of a monkey at Zoo Boise, the AP reports. Police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said no other information was immediately available, but officers and a representative from Zoo Boise were expected to hold a press conference Monday evening. The Patas monkey was found dead of blunt force trauma to the head and neck early Saturday morning, shortly after a zoo security guard frightened away two male intruders. The death left zoo workers shocked and devastated, zoo director Steve Burns said, and prompted an organization called Crime Stoppers to offer an award of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest of the culprits. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.
Sad news surfaced over the weekend in Boise, with the news that intruders at the Boise Zoo had killed a beloved Patas monkey. The future of the monkey's cagemate, shown here, is uncertain, as the social primates don't like to be housed alone; the Boise zoo may get another, or may have to find a new home for the remaining monkey. The AP reports that police are following leads in the search for the two intruders, and that it's not yet clear whether the zoo break-in early Saturday morning was a prank that turned violent or something done with more sinister intent.
The monkey was found outside its exhibit, near the perimeter fence of the zoo, shortly after a security guard scared off two intruders; it had a head injury, and died shortly after. The zoo was closed for most of the day Saturday as police searched for evidence. You can read KTVB-TV's full report here, including a clue - police found a gray ballcap that may have been left by one of the intruders; and the Idaho Statesman's full report here; this AP photo of the remaining Patas monkey is by the Statesman's Katherine Jones. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.
UPDATE: Late this afternoon, Boise Police announced that they've made an arrest; they scheduled a press conference for 7 p.m. to release more information.