Apr 17 2008

Planet Of The Apes

Published by at 12:30 pm under Blog

Okay, it’s less a planet, more a peninsula, but Gibraltar is a strange place. At the southern tip of Spain, this British colony is more quintessentially English than England itself. There’s Fox and Hound pubs, mushy peas and toffy accents. It’s almost possible not to notice the gorgeous weather and the heavily guarded entrance-by-airstrip. Oh, and did I mention the monkeys?

The Rock of Gibraltar is home to hundreds of Barbary Apes, and while the humans and the animals can generally live in harmony with each other, a revolution is stirring. According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, a pack of 25 macaques have staged an uprising and are terrorising tourists and townies alike. They have been breaking into hotel rooms, vandalising property and stealing from passersby. Apparently they are running riot on the beach.

Barbary Apes from Spanish holiday 2007

The response from Ernesto Britto, Gib’s tourism minister: “Kill, kill, kill”! Okay, I admit he didn’t quite put it like that, but there are plans afoot to cull the rioting faction and Ernesto defends the decision saying, “children are frightened. People cannot leave their windows open for fear of the monkeys stealing. Apes can bite and contact with them runs the risk of salmonella or hepatitis”. I don’t recall that being in the tour brochure when I visited last year.

I do understand the fear though:

Yes, that is me in the video, cowering away from the tiny baby monkey. But what you don’t see is his fat furious father off camera, heading my direction.

I’m sure there is a better way to deal with this problem that culling, but I’m no animal rights activist and if it has to be, then it has to be. It just seems somewhat excessive. Anyone else any opinions on that?

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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Planet Of The Apes”

  1. Andrewon 17 Apr 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I remember a monkey jumping on my sister’s head during a family trip to Gibraltar weird place that it is) and my dad sprang into action. We all thought he was gonna scold the little fecker away but he just whipped out the camera and started snapping away. there are several hilarious photos that bear testament to my sister’s terror and my dad’s lack of paternal protective instinct.

    And, no, they shouldn’t cull them. *Incendiary comment warning* Cull all the British folk there instead.

  2. Maryon 17 Apr 2008 at 2:09 pm

    LOL, Sorry but’s hilarious!! and Liz’s evil laugh in the background!!
    It’s amazing how curly gets everywhere!!

    I don’t think culling is the answer, but if they are posing a threat to humans then maybe it’s the only choice they have to keep the problem under control?

  3. Darrenon 17 Apr 2008 at 5:18 pm

    @Andy I want to see those pictures 😆

    @Mary I think they should be asking the question, what brought the monkeys down from the mountain to riot in the first place? Maybe something/someone has disturbed their natural habitat and they are simply responding to that.

  4. Anthonyon 17 Apr 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I’d like to hire that monkey faction as my personal security detail. What would they say to €3.50 each an hour?

  5. Darrenon 17 Apr 2008 at 8:03 pm

    @Anthony I like your thinking and from what I’ve heard, monkey wages in Gibraltar are very low. You’ll easily get them to work for €3.50. 🙂

  6. Maryon 24 Apr 2008 at 4:12 pm

    It’s probably a case of them getting annoyed at locals/tourists invading their homes and their area and therefore they see the only way is for retaliation?? (I don’t know if that’s the right word to use).

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