Crowd's favorite baboon, Luka, rescued and returned to zoo in Macedonia after abduction ordeal

The playful baboon Luka has been rescued and returned to Macedonia's largest zoo after he was snatched by captors.

Police say the 18-month-old crowd favorite was abducted Monday from Skopje Zoo by captors who cut nets at a zoo enclosure and drove him by taxi to Kavadarci, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the Macedonian capital.

Authorities said Tuesday the ginger-haired animal was found four hours later after witnesses had alerted police. They said two people have been arrested and charged with burglary-related offences. They did not comment on local media reports that said one of the suspects was a 26-year-old woman who had abducted the animal to please her young daughter.

Abandoned by her mother after birth, Luka has become a favorite for children visiting the zoo.