A young man has been $4000 for stealing a baby meerkat from Perth Zoo because it was so cute ‘he fell in love’ with it.
The 23-year-old smuggled the one-month-old meerkat out in a cooler bag, playing loud music to drown out its cries.
He then took it through McDonald’s in South Perth before going home.
Jesse Hooker jumped over the fence at the Perth Zoo’s meerkat enclosure to scoop the baby meerkat up, although his defence lawyer claimed he only leaned over the waist-high fence.
“If you go to the zoo , you’ll realise how cute they are, and you’ll see the attraction,” Mr Hooker’s defence lawyer Chad Silver said.
Police found the meerkitten two days later.
Mr Hooker has written to Perth Zoo apologising for his actions and offering to do community work at the Zoo.
While the Zoo team says his apology and offer are appreciated, they won’t be taking him up on it.
The Zoo says the meerkat is happily back with the rest of his mob and is being closely monitored by staff.