Mystery of dead monkey found in road

Monkey World & the RSPCA have launched an investigation after the body of a marmoset monkey was found in a London street. The animal welfare organisations were contacted on Friday night (14 December) by a woman who found the body in Wren Close, Edmonton. RSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Philip Heyes went to collect the body. He said: “The lady found the monkey’s body lying in the road by the entrance to a block of flats and suspects it may have been run over. “She wasn’t sure what to do so she contacted Monkey World who told her to report the discovery to us.”

The monkey’s head had sustained severe trauma and damage to the facial area. It is quite badly damaged but it appears to be a black tufted marmoset.

 Dr Alison Cronin, Director of Monkey World said “This is not the first time this year that Monkey World has been called about a marmoset loose on the streets of London. We were able to rescue the first individual but sadly this one died a tragic and seemingly violent death. We have asked the Government, and met with George Eustice, about the out of control and unregulated trade in monkeys as pets in UK and nothing has been done. Now they are dying on the streets of London.”

Monkey World and the RSPCA are now appealing for information to establish where the marmoset came from and the circumstances surrounding the animal’s death.

AWO Heyes added: “Where this monkey came from remains a mystery.”

“The most likely explanation is that this marmoset was kept as a pet and either escaped from its home and was tragically killed on the road or the body was dumped after it died naturally. However, we can’t rule out any foul play and we’d be keen to hear from anyone with any information.”

Anyone who can assist in the investigation should email or contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Marmosets – like the one pictured – are, unfortunately, the most commonly kept and traded species of primate as pets. It is legal to own a marmoset in the UK but Monkey World have continually campaigned for a change in the law to give more protection to the monkeys living behind the net curtains.

Monkey World is calling on supporters and the general public to help them #STAMP it out – Stop the Trade & Abuse of Monkeys as Pets. You can help by writing to your MP, complaining to your local council, and campaigning to stop the sales of primates online. For more information on how you can help, and sample campaign letters, please email

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