Gibraltar monkeys enter safari park

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A troop of 30 monkeys from Gibraltar have been flown more than 1,000 miles (1,609km) to set up home in Scotland.

The wild Barbary macaques arrived at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling following a deal with the Gibraltar government to reduce the territory’s monkey population.

Ministers said exporting the macaques was preferred to culling the animals, whose rise in numbers has been causing problems for local residents.

The monkeys, aged between six months and 20, were flown to Gatwick Airport before completing their journey by land.

Their new home is a “luxury” heated house and a 2.5-acre (1 hectare) enclosure with a swimming pool and trees to climb in.

From March next year visitors will be able to see the macaques in a new drive-through section of the park.

Animal collection manager Sheila Walker said: “It has taken over a year of planning and organising the transfer of these macaques and we cannot believe it’s finally happening.

“We are all very excited about having a new species in the park and another exhibit for our visitors.

“Team leader Craig has spent some time in Gibraltar with the ape management team and is fully prepared for all the mischievous antics the macaques will be getting up to.”

Gibraltar environment minister John Cortes said the transfer was the first large-scale export of macaques since 1990.

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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