Monday, April 16, 2012

The monkeys at Gibraltar

It’s time to tell you about the monkeys at Gibraltar!

They are Barbary Macaques, a tailless monkey specie. As they have no tail, they are often mistaken for apes, and are locally known as Barbary
Apes despite the fact that they are monkeys, Macaca Sylvanus.


They are the only wild monkeys in Europe and to me it was the highlight of the trip to Gibraltar. I’ve never seen wild monkeys before and they made quite the impression on me. 


As soon as we parked the car, one of them jumped onto the car! We managed to close the window first...


I didn’t want to bother them in their peacefulness, but they let me walk by at a meters distance without really taking notice. They were so funny, and so relaxed! Look at this one here, just sitting watching life go by...and all those strange tourist staring at him and his gang.



They are used to people, as this is one of the top tourist attraction at Gibraltar, but they are still wild animals and will bite if they feel threatened. The increased contact with tourists made the monkeys dependant on humans, and led them to forage in the town which resulted in damages to buildings and vehicles. Therefore it’s now illegal to feed the monkeys and you’ll be fined if caught.


Monkey spa deep clean:



When we were headed back to the car, I took a plastic bag from the trunk to bring into the car. A monkey who was close by suddenly sped up and ran over to me and grabbed my leg! He sat there, holding my jeans, looking at me with the most adorable little face. He was one of the bigger ones and I was hoping he wouldn't climb me! But he just kept pulling my leg, like a baby asking for my attention. Then some guy came over and said it was illegal to feed the monkeys and I would get a fine of £50 if I did. I was all, "What?? Feed him?" I was just enjoying the closeness to the monkey, but apparently the monkeys connect plastic with food (food containers) and he thought he was getting lucky! The guy was one of those who keep an eye on the monkeys and he ushered the little guy away and I could get into the car. The monkey was still looking at me though, from outside the car,  begging with his eyes! Ah!


Sources:  Wikipedia and the informative plate where the monkeys live.  

20 comments:

  1. That last photo is absolutely the best! The way he looks into the camera!

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  2. Haha! Herlig! Noen ganger skulle man tro at det var apekattene som drev med people watching istedenfor omvendt.

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    1. Ja, han som satt der så behagelig og lente seg på gelenderet så ikke helt tilfeldig ut!

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  3. i never knew such a thing existed! now i feel like Gibraltar should be moving up on my list a bit!!!!!

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    1. I didn't know before arriving Spain either, it's a fabulous hidden gem if you ask me!

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  4. That is incredible! I had literally know idea that it was a British territory, or that monkeys run around there lol! This is so cool!

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    1. Yes very cool!! It was incredible to be so close to the monkeys (without being in a zoo...)

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  5. That disgruntled look on the last monkey photo made me laugh. Ha! They are such little people.

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    1. That was my thought as well. I would like to know what he was thinking about!!

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  6. How interesting that they've stayed in the area despite the city growing around them. I wonder if that's even common for wild animals to become so accustomed to people, except for birds maybe? Crazy! But I would love to stop here and experience this :)

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    1. It certainly is a bit strange, but I guess being exposed to humans all the time makes it "normal"!? Lovely experience anyhow!

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  7. Herlig historie :) Tror jeg ville vært litt nervøs..

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    1. Jeg skal innrømme at da den ene apekatten tok tak i buksebenet mitt tenkte jeg tanken om at han kunne finne på å "klatre meg" og at jeg ikke var sikker på om jeg hadde likt det. Han var forholdsvis stor, og de klatrer jo rimelig bra og i full fart! Men ett sekund etterpå smeltet jeg bare av de søte lille apefjeset som så på meg med tiggende øyne og jeg klarte ikke slutte å le :)

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  8. Sheesh they're just like squirrels around my area!

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  9. Holy cow! Those monkeys are cute but I might have been ok with them grabbing my leg!

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    1. As long as he didn't climb me I thought it was a really nice experience!!

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  10. I love them, really want to go and see... Think we can learn something from their way of dealing with life <3

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    1. And I recommend you go visit them :) Apart from being fun and cute, the location is stunning, and the views spectacular!

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