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Woman Avoids Jail Over Perth Zoo Meerkat Theft

A woman who was with a man when he stole a meerkitten from Perth Zoo by hiding it in a cooler bag and playing loud music to muffle its cries, has avoided going to prison.

Jesse Ray Hooker, 23, visited the zoo on September 19 and reached over the waist-high glass barrier to grab the newborn, later saying he "fell in love with it" and "thought it would be cool as a pet".

Hooker was previously fined $4000 and ordered to pay costs of $205 when he appeared in Perth Magistrates Court last year.

On Wednesday, his friend Aimee Cummins, 23, cried as she pleaded guilty to receiving the animal, which was kept in her bedroom for two days, and was sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

AAP

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