Rush to see Brazilian monkeys at Chhattisgarh zoo

Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Aug 31 ( A zoo of the state-run Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai town recorded a high turnout Sunday as visitors thronged to have a glimpse of the rare Brazilian marmoset monkeys that were recovered here only the previous day after being stolen from a Kolkata zoo.

The common marmoset which are about 16 cm tall and weigh no more than 500 grams were the star attraction as people even from the remotest parts of Chhattisgarh thronged here to see them before they are sent back to the Kolkata-based Alipore zoo from where they were stolen Aug 8.

“It was the largest ever visitors’ gathering Sunday at Maitri Bagh zoo since 1972 when it was set up,” said an official of the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) horticulture department that manages the zoo.

“About 16,000 people visited the zoo compared to 10,000 people last Sunday (Aug 23),” the official added.

He said visitors came mainly to have a glimpse of the seven rare Brazilian monkeys which are being kept for a brief period as guests at the zoo.

The eight Brazilian monkeys were stolen from the Kolkata zoo and transported 900 km to Bhilai. Durg district police recovered seven of them Aug 29 and arrested a 35-year-old man from Assam in this connection. Police said one monkey died while being transported from Kolkata to Bhilai.