Drunk Man Broke Into Zoo, Was Beaten Up By The Squirrel Monkeys He Tried To Steal

John Owen Casford, who was found the following morning, suffered a broken leg, two fractured teeth, a sprained ankle, and bruises.

Squirrel monkey [Wikimedia Commons]
By: Catherine Townsend

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — A drunk New Zealand man has been thrown in the slammer after breaking into a cage full of squirrel monkeys — and being beaten up by the tiny creatures.

John Owen Casford, 23, snuck through the gates at Wellington Zoo and tried to capture one of the 10-inch tall squirrel monkeys for his girlfriend, according to the New Zealand Herald.

But the monkeys turned on him and attacked.

Casford, who was found the following morning, suffered a broken leg, two fractured teeth, a sprained ankle, and bruises, according to The Sun.

In court, the judge said that the monkeys had been "distressed" and that two of the simians had suffered injuries.

During the Restorative Justice hearing, zookeepers told Casford that he had traumatized the poor little monkeys.

Wellington District Court judge Bill Hastings said: “Your intention was to capture [a monkey] and bring it home to your girlfriend. Your attempt was not successful."

He added: "I don't know what happened in the squirrel monkey enclosure. The squirrel monkeys know. You say you couldn't find them, and I don't speak squirrel."

When the zoo staff discovered Casford, he was reportedly "high as a kite." They later located the female monkey that Casford had attempted to steal — hiding, injured, and frightened.

Squirrel monkeys are not known as dangerous animals, but have been known to attack humans if they feel threatened.

Casford pleaded guilty to several charges including common assault, assault with intent to injure, and breach of community work.

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Main photo: Squirrel monkey [Wikimedia Commons]

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