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Nature & Environment

Gibraltar apes no longer fear humans

By T.K. Randall
December 1, 2012 · Comment icon 17 comments



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.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sundew 10 years ago
The government is planning to ship half the ape population off their native island? To where? That's ******* stupid. Leave the goddamn NATIVES alone. ******* humans. Not only are they not native, but macaques can carry the Herpes B virus which is usually fatal in humans. At the very least ALL the monkeys need to be captured and tested for the virus if such a test exists, because the disease is passed through monkey bites and more and more people are getting bitten. Then if the monkeys are not carriers of the disease, the government can determine how many monkeys (if any) should be reintroduced... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Zaphod222 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
Pepper spray could help?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Zaphod222 10 years ago
Pepper spray could help? 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 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
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 10 years ago
"They've lost their fear of humans and regard them as a source of rich food, like chocolate and biscuits," That will do it, I have been known to attack people for chocolate and biscuits.
Comment icon #15 Posted by TheLastLazyGun 10 years ago
It's hard to believe there are wild apes in Britain.
Comment icon #16 Posted by CuriousGreek 10 years ago
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. I never said i had any experience with monkeys!! Thanks for the info
Comment icon #17 Posted by keithisco 10 years ago
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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