Group of Gibraltar's Barbary apes to be killed

envyme

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_re_eu/gibraltar_barbary_apes



By HAROLD HECKLE Thu Apr 17, 8:45 PM ET


MADRID, Spain - A renegade group of Gibraltar's Barbary apes has annoyed residents so much that authorities announced plans Thursday to kill them.


A cluster of 25 Barbary apes — a species of monkey usually weighing about 15-25 pounds — moved to a popular beach-side area some months ago where they have been stealing food, entering rooms through open windows and harassing tourists, officials said.


The territory's tourism minister, Ernest Britto, has decided to kill the beach dwelling group, government spokesman Francis Cantos said.


"I can confirm that tourism minister Britto has decided to issue a license for a cull," said Cantos.


"The decision was not taken lightly. It is a last resort," Britto told the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper.


The newspaper said two monkeys have already been captured and given lethal injections.


The pack, part of the territory's population of around 200, invaded a sandy beach area called Catalan Bay where they remained because they were able to rummage for food. The area is popular with tourists and has a luxury hotel.


Britto said he determined that the monkeys posed a danger to public health.


The animals mainly inhabit the high ground of Gibraltar, a British colony off Spain's southern tip.


The British Army, which is responsible for their care, has in the past often had to replenish Gibraltar's population with monkeys from Africa. Barbary apes also live in Morocco and north Algeria.
 

envyme

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Appearance

This monkey is yellowish-brown to grey with lighter undersides, growing to a maximum size of 75 cm (30 in) and 13 kg (29 lb). Its face is a dark pink and its tail is vestigial. The front limbs of this monkey are longer than its hind limbs. Females are somewhat smaller than males.

[edit] Ecology

Dwelling in forests of cedar, pine and oak, the Barbary Macaque may frequent elevations of 2,100 m (6,900 ft) or more. It is a diurnal animal, dividing its time more or less equally between arboreal and terrestrial territory. Mostly herbivorous, this monkey feeds on leaves, roots, and fruit, but will also eat insects. By day, the Barbary Macaque patrols a territory which may span several square kilometers; it peacefully co-exists with other primate species, sharing watering holes without incident. The Barbary Macaque moves about energetically on all fours, occasionally rising erect on its hind limbs to survey for threats.


The Barbary Macaque is a gregarious monkey, forming mixed groups of several females and males; the troop of 10 to 30 individuals is matriarchal, with its hierarchy determined by lineage to the lead female. Unlike other macaques, the males participate in rearing the young; much time is spent playing and grooming with them. In this way, a strong social bond is formed between a male and his offspring, both the male's own and those of others in the troop. This may be a result of selectiveness on the part of the females, who seem to prefer highly parental males.
Status

The habitat of the Barbary Macaque is under threat from increased logging activity; they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Local farmers see the monkeys as pests worthy of extermination. Once common throughout northern Africa and southern Europe, there are estimated to be just 1,200 to 2,000 Barbary Macaques left.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_Macaque


 

elizabethk

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I bet there are too big to be safe. Those apes stole my plastic bags and they stole my Pepsi Max two summers ago. They are just unruly animals that take things. I don't think that killing them would serve any purpose.
 
Jun 13, 2006
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They would not survive in the wild as the have been put in a situation that is not natural to monkeys IE eating crisps and sweets...I feel so sorry for this poor monkeys ...They know no better life....:sad:
 

envyme

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Looks like the are killing the most unruly ones.
So, are you saying that it is okay to kill them? Why? What makes them "unruly"? Because they were ripped from their habitat and transplanted to an area where they once thrived but human activity destroyed?

Are you an animal lover or not? What makes it permissible for them to be exterminated and dogs/cats not? Do you believe in capital punishment for the "unruly"? How do you define "unruly"? Do you define it as a mental deviation? These creatures were transplanted and are on the brink of extinction but should be murdered since they are a nuisance to TOURISTS?
 

elizabethk

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They were transplanted way before your time, and my time. It's like blaming our generation for slavery (if you are in your early 20's...its BEYOND OUR CONTROL) just stating the fact. The British govt brought the Barbary apes there to defend the province of Gibraltar and when the ape population dwindled to about seven individuals near the end of World War II, Sir Winston Churchhill ordered a replenishment from Morocco. Churchill said that Gibraltar will remain British as long as the apes shall live.

I see that they are posing a public health threat, the govt has already tried birth control and that hasn't helped. If the government would keep the animals under control none of this would happen. If the government was smart they'd transplant them to Morocco or Spain where there are more apes.

I see it as the same as killing dogs that have attacked humans or children or animals. They pose a treat for many infectious diseases as well as public welfare. The public has a right to safety. I absolutely think its permissiable to exterminate when it poses a threat to the public (tourists and locals). I surely would not want to see some child or adult attacked over their plastic bag or Pepsi Max which was my case.

Don't get me wrong I am an animal lover but when an animal is that unruly to the community its time to put them down. The #1 killer of these apes is obesity. They steal food from tourist and from locals who leave their windows open and break into their cupboards to rummage for food. That is why there are signs all over the island stating "DO NOT feed the Barbary apes."


So, are you saying that it is okay to kill them? Why? What makes them "unruly"? Because they were ripped from their habitat and transplanted to an area where they once thrived but human activity destroyed?

Are you an animal lover or not? What makes it permissible for them to be exterminated and dogs/cats not? Do you believe in capital punishment for the "unruly"? How do you define "unruly"? Do you define it as a mental deviation? These creatures were transplanted and are on the brink of extinction but should be murdered since they are a nuisance to TOURISTS?
 

aklein

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Dec 30, 2007
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Sorry to be a PITA, but can we please refer to them as monkeys, not apes? As a student who studied primates extensively, there are huge differences between monkeys and apes. Also, the Barbary macaques were brought to Gibraltar by the Romans, not Churchill.
The problem with the macaques "attacking" tourists is due to more to tourism than habitat destruction. People come in and feed the cute little monkeys so they have a great vacation picture. In turn, the monkeys believe that any person they see will give them food. They are pretty smart, so it makes sense that they would quickly learn that people are a great food source that requires very little energy investment. Especially when shrinking habit means more time is spent foraging for food and they are less likely to return with something to eat.
Other areas of the world experience similar problems to Gibraltar, like India and South Africa. As far as I am aware, these areas do not cull the animals. Personally, I think it would be a better option to relocate the monkeys.
As for the monkeys being a threat to public health, they can be. Monkeys do carry a form of herpes that is lethal to peoplem, but not to monkeys. Many diseases that monkeys carry are easily transmitted to humans because of our similar genetic make up. That being said, we are also able to pass diseases to them. One such example would be the polio epidemic that Jane Goodall witnessed in her chimpanzee troops at Gombe.
I have lived in close proximity to a very large monkey troop of African Greens when I lived in St Kitts. These monkeys could really care less about anything that people did. While they would occassionally harass people's dogs or steal fruit, they geerally kept to themselves and did little harm.
 

skyqueen

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Aug 5, 2007
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^^^Thank you, Aklein...that was very interesting. 25 MONKEYS don't seem like that many, you'd think they could relocate them...good PR.
 

couture2387

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Jan 5, 2008
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One of these monkeys landed on my mom's head a year ago. People have been feeding them and they have gotten use to humans so releasing them into the wild isn't really an option. I don't see why they have to be killed though, I'm sure they can be relocated. It's not as if they're hurting anyone.