$5,000 gorilla statue stolen from Orlando hotel

800-pound statue taken from I-Drive hotel

Published On: Nov 27 2012 11:01:49 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 28 2012 10:57:07 AM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Someone's been monkeying around.

A large, bronze gorilla statue valued at $5,000 was stolen from a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando.

[PHOTOS:  Gorilla statue stolen from Orlando hotel]

The gorilla, which stands on all fours and is about 3 to 4 feet tall, was taken late Sunday night or early Monday morning from The Metropolitan Express at 6323 International Drive, according to Orlando police.

The statue used to be located poolside at the hotel, which has other jungle-themed items on its property, but it was recently moved outside the pool fence because it had been pushed into the water, according to hotel employees.  A worker told Local 6 that it took 10 people to remove the statue, which was estimated to weigh 800 pounds.

The hotel does not have video surveillance cameras, and the pool gates are commonly left open to allow access to the poolside bar, police said. Hotel workers say they believe the statue was stolen after the nearby bar closed at 2:30 a.m.

A second similar gorilla statue remains at the hotel, but it's now chained to a tree.

Hotel employee Beatrice Sibilly said she's seen guests occasionally steal some extra soap or shampoo but she never thought someone would rip off one of the hotel's two large metal gorilla statues.

"It was wonderful.  It was like we were in a zoo, something like that," Sibilly said. "Every morning I came to work I see those two gorillas." 

Sibilly said she was shocked to see the gorilla gone.

"I came out and I said, 'Ain't that so! Really!  It's true! One is gone!'"

Anyone with information about the gorilla's whereabouts is urged to call Orlando police. There is no formal reward for the gorilla's safe return, but the bartender at the hotel's tiki bar says they'll buy a round of drinks for whoever locates the stolen statue.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.