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Stuffed Chimpanzee in Top Hat Among Those Missing in London

British police are asking for the public to help them locate taxidermied animals that went missing

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British police are searching for a stuffed chimpanzee in a top hat and tie, a sloth hanging from a tree branch, 16 other stuffed animals, and the thieves who stole them all from a south London taxidermy warehouse on March 1.

“This was not a random crime, the burglars had come prepared and well equipped,” British Detective Constable Edward Bird said in a plea for help published Wednesday on London’s metropolitan police website. “This was a criminal enterprise, and these thieves need to be stopped before they commit further crimes.”

Police said that in addition to the pilfered taxidermied animals — which include lions, a flamingo, and a zebra — the burglars stole other antiques, including a globe. They estimate the missing goods are worth more than $140,000, and might be sold off to an unsuspecting taxidermy enthusiast if the thieves aren’t found soon.

“I would ask anyone who deals in such animals to be on the lookout and contact police immediately if you are offered any of the stolen items,” Bird said. His last name appears to be nothing more than a convenient coincidence.  

Photo Credit: Metropolitan Police

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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