Man arrested after fatally beating monkey at zoo

Michael J. Watkins 
By: Hydar Tomar 

(Scroll down for video) Two men broke into a zoo in Boise, Idaho, and fatally beat a monkey, according to police reports.

Police have arrested one of the two men they believe broke into the zoo the night the monkey was killed of blunt-force trauma, but questions remain about how and why the animal was killed.

Michael J. Watkins, 22, of Weiser, was arrested Monday in Washington County, on felony charges of burglary and grand theft.

A tip from a citizen led police to Watkins after the identifying a hat left behind at the zoo by one of the suspects that night. A security guard at the zoo chased away the intruders and then discovered the badly injured monkey that died shortly afterwards.

A police spokesperson said at a news conference Monday night, that Watkins sought care at a hospital for injuries to his upper torso sometime after the incident early Saturday. The story he gave the hospital staff was not consistent with the injuries.

The monkey death has left zoo workers shocked and devastated, zoo director Steve Burns said. Crime Stoppers offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.