Police: Wildlife sanctuary owner stages burglary, removes dozens of exotic animals

Josue Santiago is accused of removing dozens of exotic animals and staging a burglary at a wildlife sanctuary. (Miami-Dade Police)

The owner of a wildlife sanctuary in Miami is facing charges after dozens of exotic animals were reported stolen.

The Miami-Dade Police Department says a partner of the sanctuary claimed $53,400 worth of exotic animals were stolen from "We Care Wildlife Sanctuary."

According to the arrest report, the sanctuary's owner, Josue Santiago, drove seven lemurs, three red-handed tamarins, five marmosets, one cotton top, and one white face capuchin to North Carolina. He then staged a burglary and claimed the animals were stolen. According WSVN, Santiago brought the animals to North Carolina to avoid wildlife authorities who had been looking into the sanctuary.

The alleged burglary was brought to light over the weekend after a volunteer came forward about the incident. She claimed the burglary was the result of a fake Craigslist post that said the sanctuary was going out of business and the animals were being given away for free.

Santiago is charged with filing a false report and providing false information to law enforcement.

All the animals removed from the sanctuary are safe in North Carolina.

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