Attempts to track down escaped monkey from Scottish wildlife park increase in intensity.
Attempts to locate a monkey that fled from a nature reserve in the Highlands of Scotland have increased following a sighting by a bystander on its second night of being at large.
On Monday evening, there was optimism that the Japanese macaque, who had escaped from his enclosure by jumping the fence on Sunday, may have returned on his own after venturing out alone.
He was seen heading towards the Highland wildlife park in Cairngorms, and residents were reminded to report any sightings to a special monkey hotline. They were also urged to clear potential food sources like trash bins and bird feeders from their gardens.
However, the number of macaques present on Tuesday morning indicated that one was still unaccounted for. Since then, there has been a report of another sighting, prompting the team from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, who manages the park, to take action.
Keith Gilchrist, the manager responsible for overseeing the care of living animals at Highland Wildlife Park, stated: “Throughout the day, our skilled team of animal caretakers will be surveying the surrounding area using various methods in an attempt to tempt him back, including utilizing the services of a thermal imaging drone contractor. The Cairngorms mountain rescue team has graciously offered to assist with their own thermal imaging drone.”
Luckily, the sibling of the chief of the Cairngorm mountain rescue team is a well-known specialist in macaque behavior at Kyoto University.
Macques, commonly referred to as snow monkeys, are well-adapted to living in chilly mountain environments.
According to BBC Scotland News, Carl Nagle from Kincraig village was having a relaxed Sunday morning when he came across a notification about monkeys on a nearby Facebook group.
I glanced through the window and saw him, feeling very pleased with himself as he stood by the fence munching on the nuts that had dropped from the bird feeders.
He loitered around, appearing suspicious as if he were in a place he shouldn’t be, which was accurate. He roamed the garden for a bit – we believed he had left but he returned and attempted to access the bird feeders. He was putting in a lot of effort – more than a squirrel would.
It is believed that the monkey may have leaped over the fence in search of relief from the stress of breeding season. The macaque group in the park has two dominant males, and the third male, who is younger and less assertive, is currently missing.
Even though the macaque that is missing is not expected to be dangerous towards people or pets, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland recommends that the general public refrain from approaching it and instead report any sightings to the hotline at 079339 28377.