British Columbia

Zoo holds emotional memorial for Jocko, the slain spider monkey

Tears were flowing when Greater Vancouver Zoo staff held a memorial service on Sunday for Jocko, a spider monkey that was killed after someone broke into an enclosure overnight Tuesday.
On Sunday, Vancouver zoo staff held an emotional memorial for Jocko, a male spider monkey who was found dead the morning of May 7. ((The Greater Vancouver Zoo))

Tears were flowing when Greater Vancouver Zoo staff held a memorial service on Sunday for Jocko, a spider monkey that was killed after an enclosure at the zoo was broken into overnight Tuesday.

"He was very loving. He absolutely loved people," said animal keeper Menita Prasad. "He loved putting up anything to his face and looking through everything."

An autopsy revealed Jocko died after suffering a fractured skull and internal bleeding. Mia, his female companion, is still missing after being removed from the Aldergrove zoo following the break-in, said Jamie Dorgan, the zoo's animal care manager.

Zoo staff members console each other following Sunday's memorial service for Jocko, whose injuries included a fractured skull. ((CBC))

The RCMP received several tips over the past few days about the missing monkey but still haven't found Mia, Dorgan said.

The two monkeys were both 17 years old, and had lived at the zoo for 15 years.

"We love you, Jocko; we love you Mia. Wherever you are, we hope you're safe and please come home," Prasad said.

Mia is about one-and-a-half feet tall and 24 pounds. She's dark brown with a golden stomach and chest.

A reward is being offered for the safe return of Mia, a 17-year-old female spider monkey, who is still missing from her home at the zoo. ((The Greater Vancouver Zoo))

Dorgan said he's very worried about Mia.

"She has a lot of stuff to adjust to. She lived here pretty much her whole life," he said.

"She lived with Jocko in the zoo, so to be ripped away from the environment is definitely going to be a big shock for her."

The zoo has announced it is planning to match public donations up to $3,000 and offer the cash as a reward for information leading to Mia's safe return.

Mia and Jocko were brought to the Vancouver zoo from a zoo in Eastern Canada when they were around two years old.

Life expectancy of a spider monkey is about 40 years.

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