In a nice turn of events (for once!), last night an adorable squirrel monkey who'd been stolen from the San Francisco Zoo was returned to his owners unharmed after missing for two days. The monkey, whose name is Banana Sam (which might be the perfect monkey name) was "hungry, trembling and thirsty" when he was returned to the zoo but otherwise in good health. Oh, the heart strings, they are being tugged with an alarming force!
According to the AP, Banana Sam was stolen on Thursday when a thief (or thieves), "cut through a gate and made holes in the mesh surrounding the monkey exhibit." Then on Saturday, he was reportedly spotted at a park not far from the zoo by a bystander who coaxed Banana Sam out of the bushes and into his backpack. That man then called the police, and the monkey was soon reunited with his zoo family—who were very happy to see him. Police don't know who took the monkey, but they're casting a wide net, including looking into whether the bystander who found him was involved. There was a $5000 reward being offered for Banana Sam's return.
Banana Sam is beloved by his keepers—and with a serious little face like that, how could he not be? He's a petite little guy, weighing just two pounds and measuring only a foot tall. At 17-years-old he's a bit of a senior citizen, since most squirrel monkeys only live to be about 20. Let's hope Banana Sam gets to live out the rest of his days in peace and comfort and with a steady supply of bananas. And let's take his safe return as an auspicious sign that 2012 is going to be a good year for all creatures great and small.