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Monkey business Gardaí called to Dublin Zoo after animal escapes from enclosure

Endangered macaque rescued after breaking out of its enclosure

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Sulawesi crested macaques at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Patrick Bolger

Sulawesi crested macaques at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Patrick Bolger

Sulawesi crested macaques at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Patrick Bolger

There was no monkeying around when gardaí were called to Dublin Zoo to help with an unusual break-out there.

Gardaí from Cabra provided assistance to staff at Dublin Zoo when a monkey escaped from its enclosure,” a Garda spokesperson said.

The alarm was raised shortly after 5.30pm on Friday. “The monkey was safely rescued a short time later,” the spokesperson added.

Dublin Zoo confirmed that a Sulawesi crested macaque “temporarily moved from its habitat” on Friday evening and was returned a short time later.

“The animal remained on the grounds of Dublin Zoo at all times,” a zoo spokesperson said.

The Sulawesi crested macaque is the smallest of seven species of short-tailed macaques, according to the Dublin Zoo website.

They can be found in the Asian Forest habitat at the zoo, and they are classified as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

They have a very short tail, approximately 2cm long, which is difficult to see. Because of their short tail they are often wrongfully referred to as apes.

Meanwhile, Dublin Zoo experienced an extremely challenging year in 2020, like many other visitor attractions.

Visitor numbers were reduced dramatically due to strict Covid-19 restrictions, leading to the loss of vital funds from ticket sales. However the launch of the ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ fundraising campaign proved a big success.

The response to the campaign was swift, and in just 12 hours on November 18, people from Ireland and abroad came together to raise €1m.

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