Couple face trial for stealing and raising baby rhesus monkeys as pets

The alleged crime of the couple who snatched two baby rhesus monkeys from Sheshan Hill was uncovered when they took their 'new pets' out for a trip.

A couple who allegedly snatched two baby rhesus monkeys and raised them as pets at home will stand trial for illegally capturing precious and endangered wildlife animals, said prosecutors of Jinshan District.

The incident took place on August 26, 2017, when the couple visited the Sheshan Hill, a scenic spot in suburban Songjiang District. They were attracted by rhesus monkeys on the trees, and came up with the idea of catching and raising them as pets, prosecutors said.

They targeted two baby rhesus monkeys and lured them by offering food. They quickly grabbed the baby monkeys and put them in bags when there was no one around, prosecutors added.

They put clothes on the two baby rhesus monkeys and raised them as pets. However, two months later, they decided to take their “new pets” with them on a trip. But they didn't have a second chance to escape the attention of authorities, prosecutors said.

Their mini van was stopped for a routine check in the Shanghai-Zhejiang highway toll gate on the G15 Expressway in Jinshan. Police were astonished to find that the female passenger was holding a baby monkey, about 40 centimeters tall. During interrogation, the other monkey, apparently hidden under her dress, fell over, prosecutors said.

The couple was detained at the scene as they couldn’t show any official approval to raise monkeys. Tests carried out afterward showed the two were rhesus monkeys under protection.

Jinshan police said the two monkeys are now under care in the Shanghai Zoo.

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