BOISE -- Zoo Boise officials today announced that they will soon be getting two female patas monkeys from a zoo in Syracuse, New York.
The city has been in mourning since one of the two patas monkeys was killed during a break-in at Zoo Boise on Nov. 17. Patas monkeys are very social animals that need the companionship of other monkeys.
The Friends of Zoo Boise has pledged to raise $209,000 for a specially-built Patas Monkey Exhibit, which will be the new home to all three monkeys.
“As Boise has done so many times in the past, we are going to turn a tragedy into a positive new beginning and prove that no single event can dampen our spirit or discourage us from believing in Boise as a truly wonderful place to live,” said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
The two female monkeys from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, are expected to arrive in Boise in the next few weeks. They are 15 and 22 months old. They are being provided at no cost.
After a 30-day quarantine, the females will be placed in an enclosure within sight of the male. If they are compatible, all three monkeys will live together in the Primate House until the new exhibit is complete.
“The new Patas House will provide us with an opportunity to educate children and adults in our community about these amazing animals,” said Lisa Owens, FOZB president.
The new 1,500-square-foot Patas Monkey Exhibit will be located in the African Plains exhibit near the giraffe barn. The structure will have indoor and outdoor living space and three large viewing windows for the public.
Zoo Boise has received a huge outpouring of public support since the monkey's death. Michael Watkins has been charged with burglary and grand theft in connection with the break-in.
Donors can make contributions online at www.zooboise.org or by calling (208) 384-4125, ext.202. If fundraising goes as planned, the new exhibit is scheduled to open in late summer of 2013.