Three monkeys stolen from Sydney zoo

A pygmy marmoset (File)
A pygmy marmoset (File)

Staff at a Sydney zoo are concerned for the welfare of three monkeys stolen from their enclosure.

The three rare pygmy marmosets were taken when thieves broke into the Symbio Wildlife Park overnight on Friday.

Police were called to the park at 8am on Saturday morning after staff discovered the monkeys were missing.

An adult male called Gomez and a nine-month-old female called Sophia were taken, as well as a four-week-old baby.

Park owner John Radnidge says the baby monkey taken is particularly at risk, and that it may soon die if it's not returned to its mother.

"It's terrible to have three stolen from us," Mr Radnidge told the Sydney Morning Herald. "But one's only a baby, it's only four weeks old, it's reliant on its mother's milk to survive."

Mr Radnidge said the baby's mother was so stressed she was not eating. The baby's twin is still with her, but Mr Radnidge said there is a risk that "through the stress she'll stop feeding that baby and that baby's life is then at risk".

Park staff are apparently distraught about the monkeys' wellbeing.

It's not the first time animals have been stolen from Symbio Wildlife Park; in 2010, four pygmy marmoset monkeys and four cotton top tamarins were stolen from their enclosures.

Three of the tamarins were recovered after being dumped in a Sydney park, and the four marmosets were later left in the care of a vet. One male Tamarin remained missing.

Pygmy marmosets are the world's smallest monkeys. Native to South America, the primates are the size of a human thumb at birth.