SF Zoo's Banana Sam, once abducted, passes away 

click to enlarge San Francisco Zoo's Banana Sam
  • Marianne Hale/Courtesy of the San Francisco Zoo
  • The San Francisco Zoo's 19-year-old squirrel monkey Banana Sam passed away Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.

The San Francisco Zoo announced Friday that its 19-year-old squirrel monkey Banana Sam passed away Thursday.

The monkey became a worldwide sensation after someone broke into the the zoo on the night of Dec. 30, 2011, cut a hole in the monkeys' enclosure and stole Banana Sam.

A $5,000 reward was offered in the case, which drew international attention, even spawning a Twitter account. Banana Sam was recovered a day later on New Year's Eve in Stern Grove. A man said he had lured the squirrel monkey into a backpack.

There has yet to be any arrest made in the case, San Francisco police said Friday.

"Banana Sam was a beloved member of the San Francisco Zoo and he will be missed by staff, volunteers, and visitors," the zoo said in a statement.

Banana Sam was one of 20 monkeys that were brought to the San Francisco Zoo in 2010 after the funding for a local research program ended, according to the zoo.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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