THE parents of a heartbroken six-year-old girl who lost her beloved cuddly monkey during a family day-trip are appealing for help in finding the toy.

Zoe Storey, from Sherburn Hill, near Durham City, has been inseparable from George the monkey since she was a toddler and uses the toy to help her overcome severe shyness.

The youngster has been distraught since the monkey went missing during a visit to Barnard Castle, on Good Friday, with her parents Sarah and David, and eight-year-old sister Imogen.

Mr and Mrs Storey cancelled their wedding anniversary plans on Saturday to create ‘missing’ posters which they delivered to several shops in Barnard Castle in the hope of finding George, who was last seen in Zoe’s possession as the family crossed the footbridge over the River Tees.

Mrs Storey said: “We said to her ‘keep tight hold of George’ as we crossed the bridge and from that point, we walked back up to the castle and past the mini-golf course.

“We were outside a shop when Zoe suddenly said ‘I haven’t got George’.

“He is the most well-loved toy and even gets clothes made for him by her grandma.

“Zoe is very shy and takes George everywhere.

“She has special permission from her headteacher to take him to school and she is never without him.

“He is a bit of comfort to her.”

The family spent more than two hours searching for the toy on Friday afternoon and Mrs Storey said his loss had cast a shadow over Zoe’s Easter weekend.

She said: “We had a bad night without him.

“The people of Barnard Castle have been great with us, but we haven’t heard anything in response to the posters.

“We have ordered another one off Ebay but it is not the same as the original George.

“Zoe is such a beautiful little girl, I am so gutted this has happened to her.

“We would love to get George back.”

Anyone who finds the toy is asked to call David Storey on 07968-994349 or email