Gibraltar's latest export - pesky monkeys

Jan 30, 2014
Two macaque monkeys in Gibraltar on February 10, 2000

Britain's tiny outpost of Gibraltar has announced it will crack down on pesky Barbary macaque monkeys by exporting them off the Rock.

Beloved by tourists, the have started roaming into town, looting bins, foraging for food and frightening locals.

The Gibraltar government said it planned to capture some of the troublesome primates and prepare them for export in the spring.

"This marks the beginning of real progress in dealing with macaque numbers that have been allowed to get out of control," the Rock's environment minister, John Cortes, said in a statement Wednesday.

"By exporting and neutering we are controlling numbers without having to cull."

The government said it was in the final stage of discussions with a "respected third party" that wanted to take a group of macaques in the spring.

It declined to say how many of the territory's roughly 200 macaques would be exported, nor their destination, until the agreement was completed.

The capture programme is set to start in the coming days.

The animals are to be held in a purpose-built facility under veterinary supervision before being shipped.

"The packs which will first be targeted for capture will be those which are pestering built-up areas and schools," a government spokesman said.

The government said it was deploying extra staff to take "firm action" with monkeys in urban areas and drive them back into a nature reserve on the upper part of the Rock.

Gibraltar's Barbary macaques are the only free-ranging monkeys in Europe, according to the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society.

Although tourists often want to interact with them, officials say the Barbary are wild animals and are best viewed from a distance.

Feeding the monkeys is illegal in Gibraltar and punishable by hefty fines.

Explore further: Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Related Stories

Touch screens help monkeys relax

Nov 12, 2013

Zoos are great places to study animals. The non-human primates among them get the most attention from researchers. Some of them are trained to interact with computers for psychological research. In a new ...

From the mouths of monkeys: New technique detects TB

Jun 21, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Tuberculosis can be a serious threat to monkeys and apes.  A new technique for detecting the tuberculosis -causing bacteria could help in protecting the health of primate populations.  ...

Lucky Dutch lab monkeys retired to sunny Balearics

Oct 24, 2012

Eighteen female monkeys used in lab experiments in the Netherlands are to be flown Wednesday to Spain's Balearic islands to enjoy the "exceptional" fate of a leisurely retirement in the sun.

Recommended for you

Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Apr 24, 2015

A commonly used term to describe nutritional needs and energy expenditure in humans – basal metabolic rate – could also be used to give insight into brain size of ocean fish, according to new research by Dr Teresa Iglesias ...

Why do animals fight members of other species?

Apr 23, 2015

Why do animals fight with members of other species? A nine-year study by UCLA biologists says the reason often has to do with "obtaining priority access to females" in the area.

Dolphins use extra energy to communicate in noisy waters

Apr 23, 2015

Dolphins that raise their voices to be heard in noisy environments expend extra energy in doing so, according to new research that for the first time measures the biological costs to marine mammals of trying ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.