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UPDATE: Zoosiana issues statement on arrest in stolen monkey case

Posted at 1:25 PM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-08 11:57:36-05

UPDATE: Zoosiana has issued a statement about today's arrest in the theft of their squirrel monkeys.

Here's what the folks at the zoo have to say:

We sincerely thank all officers and detectives involved in this case and commend the skill and tenacious diligence of the Broussard Police Department.  While this situation continues to be incredibly upsetting, we are very thankful for the tremendous progress that has been made to get this case to where it is today.   We extend our thanks to the local, state, and federal agencies who assisted in the investigation. At Zoosiana, excellence in animal care remains our top priority and our focus continues to be on the health, safety, and well-being of our animals, in particular our remaining Squirrel Monkeys. We continue to be attentive to their needs and in helping to rebuild trust within the troop. We kindly ask that any additional questions related to the investigation be directed to the Broussard Police Department.

As we reported earlier today, an Opelousas man has been booked in connection with the theft of a dozen monkeys from Acadiana's zoo.

Joseph Randell, 62, was booked with burglary and 12 counts cruelty to animals.

Broussard Police say they worked with Opelousas Police to execute a warrant on Randell.

No monkeys were recovered; the whereabouts of the monkeys is still currently under investigation. Investigators are still unsure if there is any connection between this case and the Dallas Zoo cases, police say.

The theft happened on January 28 or 29; police were called to Zoosiana at 10:30 a.m. on January 29 when keepers discovered about a dozen squirrel monkeys had been taken from their habitat.

Investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone with information on this incident are urged to call the Broussard Police Department at 337-837-6259, LA Department of Wildlife Fisheries or Crimes Stoppers at 232-TIPS.