GPS collars used to end monkey madness in Gibraltar

Wild monkeys in the tiny British territory of Gibraltar have been causing so much havoc among the locals (the human ones, that is) that the authorities turned to tech to help pinpoint the worst offenders and have them rounded up.

Located on the coast of southern Spain, Gibraltar is home to around 200 macaques (and 30,000 humans). While reports of trouble have been rare in the past, the monkeys have recently been getting more confident, leaving the territory’s nature reserve to forage for food in the town, scaring residents and visitors in the process.

The macaques, which happen to be Europe’s only wild monkey population, are one of Gibraltar’s tourist attractions, though visitors are advised to keep their distance from the innocent-looking though potentially aggressive creatures.

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In an effort to monitor the monkeys’ movements and identify the main agitators among the population, the authorities turned to tracking technology, attaching GPS collars to the animals at the start of the summer.

After studying the GPS data over a number of weeks, officials were able to single out 30 macaques that were particularly fond of taking trips into town. Traps were then laid to round them up.

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This week it was announced the monkeys will soon be sent to a safari park in Scotland, where no doubt they’ll spend the rest of their days terrorizing visiting families, merrily stripping vehicles of any removable items and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

“It was the group that was giving us the most problems,” John Cortes, Gibraltar’s environment minister, said of the 30 mischievous monkeys. “It’s sad to see them go, but they’ll be going to an excellent home and it’s so much better than culling them.”

[Source: Telegraph]