Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Cheeky monkeys shuffle off with youngster's iPod

A pair of cheeky monkeys have gone bananas over a new Apple iPod - and broken the heart of the girl who lost it to them forever.

When Stormi-Lee Whitford's grandmother took her to Auckland Zoo, she had the perfect chance to test out the $300 iPod given to her as a combined Christmas and birthday present. But it took just a matter of seconds for the gadget to slip through the Te Kauwhata 10-year-old's fingers - and into the hands of a filching spider monkey.

Carol Whitford said her granddaughter was busy taking pictures of the monkeys on a landing above the enclosure when disaster struck.

Shortly after this photo was taken Stormi-Lee lost her ipod.
Shortly after this photo was taken Stormi-Lee lost her ipod.

"'Grandma', she said. 'What's happened Stormi-Lee?' I answered. 'It slipped out of my hand'. She was devastated."

Mrs Whitford was tempted to jump in to retrieve it - but it was too late. Two of the monkeys quickly claimed it and began playing with it, to the amusement of children watching on.

"I tell you what, it kept the zoo entertained for ages," Mrs Whitford said. "But Stormi-Lee was so upset, and we couldn't do anything - it was her prized possession for a very, very short time."

Zoo staff haven't found the iPod and it's feared the monkeys might have grown bored and tossed it into the moat around the enclosure.

- NZ Herald

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