Pilfered primate freed from jail, returns to Maine

An 8-foot-tall mechanical gorilla is back home at an eastern Maine flea market-style store two weeks after it was stolen and later dumped in a cornfield in Vermont.

Bibi, a 39 year old female gorilla, shown here in an undated file photo provided by the Knoxville Zoo. Bibi died on December 25, 2007 under anesthesia for treatment of a medical condition.

EAST MACHIAS, Maine (AP) -- An 8-foot-tall mechanical gorilla is back home at an eastern Maine flea market-style store two weeks after it was stolen and later dumped in a cornfield in Vermont.

A pickup truck carrying the somewhat battered and torn gorilla arrived Saturday afternoon at Sandy's Sales a day after being picked up at a Vermont police barracks.

Owners Sandy and Lowell Miller were delighted to see the gorilla dubbed "Seemore," which was stolen from outside their store over Labor Day weekend. But they agreed the gorilla needs some tender loving care for its injuries: a head severed from its body, holes and rips in its face, and a broken arm.

"After people see her battle wounds, we are going to have her have a face lift," Sandy Miller said. "A new rubber face."

After the gorilla was stolen from its longtime location outside the store, the owner of the factory where the gorilla was created produced a YouTube video offering a $500 reward for its return.

The thief then appeared in disguise in his own YouTube video, saying he was sorry and jokingly offering to return the beast for $1 million. Seemore then showed up in a cornfield.

Maine State Police said last week that Vermont authorities had identified a suspect.


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