The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barbary Monkeys Attack Family

The Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is a macaque with only a stub of a tail. Found in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco with a small, possibly introduced, population in Gibraltar, the Barbary Macaque is one of the best-known Old World monkey species. Besides humans, they are the only primates that live freely in Europe. Although the species is commonly referred to as the "Barbary Ape", the Barbary Macaque is a true monkey, not an ape.


A family needed hospital treatment after a pack of Gibraltar apes savagely attacked them.

Kim and Joe Castro were forced to protect their sons Sam, three, and six-year-old Jack as the animals pounced on them, biting and scratching with their sharp claws.

The family said they were ignoring the barbary macaques, at the Rock of Gibraltar, before they launched the attack on steep steps near the top of the Rock.

Castro family who were attacked by apes in Gibraltar

Savage attack: Kim Castro (left) with sons Sam and Jack and husband Joe (right). The family were attacked by a pack of rampaging apes in Gibraltar

The animals are famed as a tourist attraction and, although wild, they are used to tourists, who are warned not to feed them.

The Castros, who were visiting Gibraltar while they holidayed in Spain were on their way to a cable car station when the apes struck, Kim, 37, explained.

The legal assistant said: 'Joe was in front with Sam and I was a bit further back with Jack. We were aware of all the advice about not to goad or feed the monkeys and the ones we had seen earlier were fine.

'We were just walking past this group, being quiet, not paying them any attention when one of them launched itself at Joe.

Do not feed the apes, monkey warning sign

Understated! Mother Kim Castro said they were aware of advice not to feed the monkeys but one ape launched itself at Joe as they minded their own business

'The ape was going crazy and Joe was trying to protect Sam, who was hysterical, as well as himself and this set the others off.'

Kim told how the apes pounced on the children, attacking them with teeth and claws, as they tried to fend them off.

'There were about five or six of them and they were extremely strong. I was afraid for our lives both from the attack and the steep drop.'

Lorry driver Joe, aged 36, was bitten on the head, while Kim was left with huge bruises and cuts.

Kim Castro shows her bruises inflicted by apes in Gibralta

Injured: Kim Castro was left with huge bruises and cuts

While the parents managed to save Sam from injury, Jack had a chunk bitten out of his arm.

Kim said: 'We kept our heads down and retreated. They eventually backed off.

'There was a lot of blood. It was very distressing.'

She was worried about rabies but was told by a vet that the apes had been vaccinated. The family were taken to hospital.

Kim said: 'Jack¹s wound was too wide to stitch, so they bandaged it up. The surgeon said he would be scarred for life.'

The family returned home yesterday.


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