Belfast Telegraph

Monkey brought down to earth in Newtownabbey after a shot at freedom

By Michelle Smyth

How many zoo keepers does it take to capture an escaped monkey? A dozen it would seem – plus a tranquilliser gun.

The recovery operation to recapture the fifth monkey from a gang of six that escaped from Belfast Zoo on Monday was perhaps the most dramatic.

The team of 12 zoo staff arrived at Gideon's Green in Newtownabbey yesterday armed with a Fire and Rescue Service hydraulic lift to reach the lion-tailed macaque that had taken up residency in trees.

Bystanders watched as the animal fell from the tree after being shot with the tranquilliser gun. Five out of the six escapees have now been captured – one brought down with a rugby tackle.

On Thursday zoo keepers managed to capture one in the grounds of Belfast Castle.

Another one of the striking creatures was spotted perched on a peace line fence near Hazelwood Integrated College in Newtownabbey on Thursday.

Lion-tailed macaques have a distinctive grey mane around their faces which makes their heads look big.

Their name comes from their tufted, droopy tails, which are similar to a lion's.

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