- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska woman who reported her gibbons as stolen has pleaded guilty to keeping the endangered apes as pets.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports (https://bit.ly/1dkoEpR ) 65-year-old Nancy Stephens, of Doniphan, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court. She admitted to violating the Endangered Species Act, which doesn’t allow the transportation, shipment or receipt of endangered species.

In September 2013, Stephens reported the theft of her gibbons, which are small animals known for swinging through southern Asia forests.

Authorities found the apes during a traffic stop in Florida. They were place in a sanctuary.

Stephens admitted violating the species act in 2011 and 2012 when she bought the gibbons in Florida for about $22,000 each and brought them to Nebraska.

Prosecutors recommend a sentence of probation.

Stephens couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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