Monkey business: Florida wildlife sanctuary animal 'theft' declared hoax

Josue Santiago, head of the We Care Wildlife Sanctuary, charged with the false reporting of a crime after claiming ad inspired thefts

The mysterious disappearance of dozens of exotic animals from a Florida wildlife sanctuary after a fake “help yourself” advertisement appeared online has been solved, according to detectives: the alleged late-night theft was nothing more than monkey business contrived by the sanctuary’s owner.

Josue Santiago, 41, head of the We Care Wildlife Sanctuary, remained in his own cage at the Miami-Dade county jail on Wednesday, charged with the false reporting of a crime. Meanwhile, seven ring-tailed lemurs, five marmosets, three red-handed tamarins, a white-faced capuchin and assorted other “stolen” animals, including rare birds and tortoises, worth a combined $53,400, were being cared for at a refuge in North Carolina, where Santiago is alleged to have taken them before returning to Miami and staging Sunday’s break-in.

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Source: theguardian
Monkey business: Florida wildlife sanctuary animal 'theft' declared hoax