A drunk man was beaten up by a pack of tiny spider monkets after breaking into a zoo to try catch one.
According to the New Zealand Herald, John Owen Casford snuck through the gates at Wellington Zoo to snatch one of the 10-inch tall squirrel monkeys - only to be discovered with a broken leg and other injuries the following morning.
During his trial, Wellington District Court judge Bill Hastings said: âYour intention was to capture [a monkey] and bring it home to your girlfriend. Your attempt was not successful."
The 23-year-old was ordered to attend a Restorative Justice hearing, during which zookeepers told him that he had traumatised the simians.
The trial saw judge Hastings joke, âI 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.â
He, however, added that he knew that by daybreak all the monkeys were distressed, two of them were injured, and the man had a broken leg, two fractured teeth, a sprained ankle, and bruises his back.
The morning after the attempted robbery, zoo staff could not find one of the squirrel monkeys and were led to believe someone may have stolen it.
But the injured female monkey was later found hiding in the cage, still frightened after Casfordâs attempt.
The altercation left the "high as a kite" young man with a broken leg, two broken teeth, a sprained ankle, and multiple bruises.
It remains unclear exactly how Casford was left so badly injured but squirrel monkeys have been known to attack humans if they feel threatened and appear on Britain's dangerous animals list.
The 23-year-old admitted that he tried to burgle the zoo, and pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault, two of wilful damage, assault with intent to injure, breach of community work, and injuring with intent to injure.
After pleading guilty, Casford said it was a blessing he was unable to catch any of the monkeys, for his sake and the monkeys' sake.