Boise, ID – The motive behind the killing of a patas monkey at Zoo Boise was theft, according to Today’s 6 News.
Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani explained that Michael J. Watkins intended to steal the monkey he allegedly beat to death near the animal’s exhibit. The suspect was reportedly attempting to smuggle the creature out of the zoo by hiding it under his jacket.
Since the monkey wasn’t too happy about being stolen, it attacked and bit Watkins. During the struggle with the animal, the suspect reportedly beat it repeatedly with a tree branch.
According to ABC News, Watkins didn’t have a very solid plan for getting the patas monkey out of the zoo.
“He told police he was going to throw the monkey outside the fence,” Alidjani explained. It was around this time that the animal attacked Watkins.
When security guards spotted the suspect, he quickly fled the scene of the crime. Although the monkey was alive when it was discovered by zoo officials, it later died as a result of its numerous injuries.
Watkins is expected to enter his plea to the charges of felony burglary and grand theft when he returns to court on December 5. If convicted of the crimes, the 22-year-old could face up to 10 years in prison for burglary and 14 years for grand theft.
According to USA Today, Zoo Boise director Steve Burns is appalled by the cruel and senseless death of the beloved patas monkey.
“I’ve been here for 15 years, and I don’t remember any cases where we’ve had a visitor intentionally or even accidentally injure an animal,” Burns said. “People in Boise are usually pretty respectful. We were just saying the other day that we can’t even remember the last time that someone was found inside the zoo after hours. The security guards do a really good job.”
Now that the monkey killing motive has been established, what do you think should happen to the man who murdered the animal?