Stolen monkey returned to Leipzig Zoo

Lion-tailed macaque

Lion-tailed macaque. Credit: pxhere, creative commons

Leipzig zoo has confirmed that a monkey taken from its enclosure has been found in the Reudnitz district of Leipzig.

A passing jogger spotted the endangered lion-tailed macaque in a tree.

Ruma’s disappearance was discovered during routine enclosure inspections on Easter Sunday. The zoo later confirmed she had been abducted, possibly with the use of traps, and that there were signs of a forced entry.

Endangered species

The lion-tailed macaque is an endangered species, so her safe return comes as a relief.

The 15-year-old female monkey had taken refuge in the neighbouring Reudnitz district of Leipzig.

Other than seeming weakened, the monkey showed no signs of physical harm upon her return.

The zoo tracked down Ruma after a jogger noticed her among the branches and promptly alerted the authorities.

At first, the jogger thought the monkey was a raccoon.

Hid in block of flats

Zookeepers and police came to the rescue but Ruma ran away to hide in a nearby block of flats, where she was eventually caught with a net in the stairwell.

“We are relieved to see our female lion-tailed macaque in good condition following an initial assessment,” said zoo director Jörg Junhold. “Although she appears weakened, she does not have any visible external injuries.”

No clear motive

Police spokesman Olaf Hoppe said the motive for the crime remains unclear, even after the monkey’s return.

According to an international survey by the British zoo expert Anthony Sheridan, Leipzig Zoo ranks among the best in Europe and first in Germany.

A macaque famously escaped from the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland in January 2024, and an escaped lion alarmed residents in Berlin in 2023.

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Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.