Kidnapped baby monkey returned to Australian zoo

Three of the rare animals were stolen overnight on Friday (Symbio Wildlife Park)
Three of the rare animals were stolen overnight on Friday (Symbio Wildlife Park)

A baby pygmy marmoset allegedly stolen from Australia's Symbio Wildlife Park has been happily reunited with its distressed mother.

Three of the rare animals were stolen overnight on Friday - father Gomez, sister Sofia and an infant who hadn't yet been named.

Staff at the park were extremely worried for the baby, who was only four weeks old and is still reliant on its mother's milk.

"Mum cradled the baby straight into her arms and bub immediately began to feed," Symbio said.

"Early observations this morning are promising, with two bright eyed twins observed on mum's back - so a great result."

Staff were concerned the mother could reject the baby's twin when it went missing, as she was so distressed she stopped eating.

Both mother and infant have been "traumatised" by the incident.

Two men have been arrested after police pulled over a car on Sunday, allegedly finding the infant in the back of the vehicle.

Further investigations led to the recovery of 10-month-old Sofia in Campbelltown, who has also been returned to the park.

She was hungry and scared but otherwise okay, the park said.

"Sofia was reunited with her family early this morning and we are giving the group privacy to re-bond after their ordeal," the park said.

"This has been a difficult time for all of our staff, and we sincerely appreciate all of the support we have received both locally and internationally."

The two men have been charged with dealing with proceeds of crime and will appear in court on Monday, according to local media.

Father Gomez remains missing and the park urges anyone with information to contact police.

Park staff discovered the theft at around 8am on Saturday.

Pygmy marmosets are the world's smallest monkey and are around the size of a human's thumb when born.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz