Banana Sam, famous monkey, dies at SF Zoo

Posted - Nov. 22, 2013 at 9:13 p.m.



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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Banana Sam, a monkey who gained fame when he was stolen from the San Francisco Zoo two years ago, has died at the age of 19.

Zoo officials say the 2-pound squirrel monkey passed away Thursday of heart disease. A squirrel monkey's life span is 20 years.

On the night of Dec. 29, 2011, someone apparently cut into the animal's cage and kidnapped Banana Sam, generating worldwide news attention. A $5,000 reward was offered for the monkey's return.

Two days later, Banana Sam was found in the Stern Grove neighborhood of San Francisco, about a mile away from the zoo.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( http://bit.ly/1aWjV4F) that the monkey has since lived in a faux-tropical landscape where he faded from the media spotlight.

Banana Sam's kidnapper was never discovered.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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