Two monkeys escape from Belfast Zoo

Ruth Doherty

Lion-tailed macaques escape Belfast Zoo
Lion-tailed macaques escape Belfast Zoo

Two lion-tailed macaques are on the run after escaping from their enclosure at Belfast Zoo.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, one of the monkeys has been spotted in the Cave Hill area, while the other has been see in the Ben Madigan Park area.

They are being pursued by zoo staff, who say they are confident the monkeys will soon be returned to their enclosure.

According to the Yahoo News, the zoo said in a statement: "Two lion-tailed macaques escaped from Belfast Zoo this morning. The two primates in question have been sighted onsite or in close proximity to the zoo.

"Belfast Zoo staff and the zoo vet are located in these areas and are tracking the movements of the animals."

Staff have asked anything that sees them to contact the zoo, and not to approach them.

The team can be contacted on 028 9077 6277 or 077 9627 7414 during out of hours.

According to Wikipedia, the lion-tailed macaque, or the wanderoo, is an Old World monkey endemic to the Western Ghats of South India.

The hair of the lion-tailed macaque is black. Its outstanding characteristic is the silver-white mane which surrounds the head from the cheeks down to its chin, which gives this monkey its German name Bartaffe - "beard ape".

Unlike other macaques, it avoids humans. In group behaviour, it is much like other macaques; it lives in hierarchical groups of usually 10 to 20 animals, which consist of few males and many females.

It is a territorial animal, defending its area first with loud cries towards the invading troops. If this proves to be fruitless, it brawls aggressively.

Lion-tailed macaque behaviour is characterised by typical patterns such as arboreal living, selectively feeding on a large variety of fruit trees, large inter-individual spaces while foraging, and time budgets with high proportion of time devoted to exploration and feeding.

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