Stuffed lions, chimp in a top hat stolen in $142,000 London taxidermy theft

Police in London are appealing for public help in recovering 18 stolen stuffed animals, including a chimpanzee in a top hat.

Story highlights

  • 18 stuffed animals worth about £100,000 ($142,000) were stolen in London last week
  • They include a zebra, a sloth, a crocodile, a rhinoceros, a baboon and a king penguin
  • Police say they hope members of the public will recognize the items

London (CNN)Police in London are optimistic that the thieves behind an audacious recent heist will have a harder job than usual concealing the loot.

They've appealed to the public to keep their eyes peeled for the unconventional stolen goods -- a small zoo's worth of stuffed animals, including a chimpanzee in a top hat and necktie.
    The 18 stuffed animals, worth about £100,000 ($142,000), were taken in a burglary at a taxidermy warehouse in the London borough of Wandsworth last week, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
    The stolen items included lions, a giraffe, a zebra, a sloth, a crocodile, a rhinoceros, a baboon and a king penguin. Antiques, including a globe, were also taken, police said.
    The stolen stuffed animals include a sloth, a rhinoceros and a crocodile.
    The thieves used angle grinders to force their way into the premises, which had clearly been deliberately targeted, Det. Constable Edward Bird said.
    "This was not a random crime, the burglars had came prepared and well equipped," he said.
    He said he hoped members of the public would recognize the items and help lead them to the thieves.
    "The items they stole are of high value and are very distinctive. I am appealing for anyone with information to contact police, in particular I would ask anyone who deals in such animals to be on the look-out and contact police immediately if you are offered any of the stolen items."