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Gibraltar apes no longer fear humans

Posted on Saturday, 1 December, 2012 | Comment icon 18 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Alex Curl

The population of apes are now so tame that they are posing a risk to both tourists and residents.

Originally the population of Barbary macaques on Gibraltar had been far more reclusive and timid of humans, but now following years of exposure the creatures have almost completely lost their fear of people. As a result there have been a substantial number of attacks with at least 59 people hospitalized this year alone.

"They've lost their fear of humans and regard them as a source of rich food, like chocolate and biscuits," said Dr John Cortes. Now the government are planning to ship half the ape population off the island in an effort to curb the danger they pose.

"Gibraltar's government could ship half of its colony of iconic apes off the Rock because they have "lost their fear of humans" and are posing a danger to residents and tourists."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (18)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by Zaphod222 on 2 December, 2012, 4:18
Curious Greek: "Yeah, but why are they attacking on humans? I don't believe it's just, that they are not fearing us any more " You clearly have no experience with monkeys. They are intelligent and aggressive little critters, especially if they get used to humans. Why they attack? Because they think you have food and are withholding it from them, of course. This is a very common story; happens everwhere where monkeys interact with humans.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Abramelin on 2 December, 2012, 12:39
Pepper spray could help?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Zaphod222 on 2 December, 2012, 13:47
Probably, but monkeys are really really fast and agile, and there are many of them. It it unrealistic to think you could pepperspray all the attackers.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DKO on 2 December, 2012, 14:07
Same thing in Bali, they are vicious in some forests and temples. You're not meant to go in there with food because they will attack you for it. But there's plenty of vendors selling bananas at the entrance haha.
Comment icon #13 Posted by fran123 on 3 December, 2012, 8:08
I was in Gibraltar a few weeks ago and it is food they are looking for. If you are up on the rock where they are and you have no visible signs of food, then they will leave you alone. However they know perfectly well that if you have a carrier bag, or similar, on your person there will be a good chance of something edible inside and they will try to either rip the bag open or take it from you. That is where the problem lies and I saw a few people "atttacked" for that very reason.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Darkwind on 3 December, 2012, 11:26
That will do it, I have been known to attack people for chocolate and biscuits.
Comment icon #15 Posted by TheLastLazyGun on 5 December, 2012, 17:32
It's hard to believe there are wild apes in Britain.
Comment icon #16 Posted by CuriousGreek on 7 December, 2012, 15:26
I never said i had any experience with monkeys!! Thanks for the info
Comment icon #17 Posted by keithisco on 20 December, 2012, 7:56
I think fencing off the Apes is probably the best answer (I know the reserve is huge and open) but it would be a better solution IMO

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