Man Charged in Elmvale Zoo Theft Found Dead

The man's body was found on a side road in York Region

One of the two men charged in connection to last Spring’s Elmvale Zoo animal theft has been identified as the victim of a shooting in East Gwillimbury.

York Regional Police found the 22-year-old on the side of the road – where he was pronounced deceased. The man was brought there by a witness. The actual shooting happened in a parking lot at Queensville Side Road and Highway 48. Three men were seen leaving the area in a black SUV. It happened Wednesday afternoon at around 3pm.

Elmvale Jungle Zoo Reunited with Agnes after Zoo Theft
Elmvale Jungle Zoo

The deceased was one of two men charged in June in connection to the theft of a lemur, tortoise and gibbon from the Elmvale zoo in May. ‘JC’ the lemur, Agnes’ the Gibbon and ‘Stanley’ the Tortoise – were taken after someone cut through fencing in the middle of the night. They were valued at $20,000 at the time.


Agnes the Gibbon was finally returned home to Elmvale after nearly 5 months. The ordeal ended in Quebec. OPP Sgt. Jason Folz says Agnes returned home safe & sound. At the time, there was a lot of concern for Agnes. The gibbon had never been away from relatives at the zoo.

‘JC’ the lemur was found in Quebec. OPP Sergeant Peter Leon says JC was found early in the morning in a cage at the side of a road. A second man was then arrested in connection with the case. Zoo co-owner Michel Persi says JC is back to normal weight and keeping zoo staff busy. The search continues for ‘Stanley’ the Tortoise.