Lion kills Gib macaque in Scottish safari park
A macaque from Gibraltar has been killed by a lion in a Scottish safari park after escaping from its enclosure.
The nine-year old macaque, named Shaw, was one of 30 monkeys shipped from the Rock to Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling, in 2014 as part of a plan to control the monkeys that were causing havoc in town at the time.
Shaw was one of two macaques that escaped through the gates of their enclosure into a nearby compound where the lions were housed.
The gates had been opened to allow a car with visitors into the drive-through macaque enclosure.
News of his death became public when two families, traumatised by what they had witnessed, reported the incident to the UK newspapers.
This prompted the safari park to publish a statement on Monday clarifying that the staff member who opened the gates was not to blame and had raised the alarm immediately.
“Our staff managed to coax one macaque back, unharmed, but unfortunately Shaw climbed a tree and jumped into the lion reserve,” the park said.
“Our lion warden was alerted immediately and did all he could to protect the macaque.”
“However, despite his best efforts, he was unable to distract the lions who responded as they would in the wild, by chasing and sadly killing the animal.”
One account of the incident in the UK media said the staff member in the lion area shielded the macaque’s broken body with a vehicle in a bid to protect it.
However, the lion was still able to reach Shaw and proceeded to kill him.
“We are taking this extremely seriously; the safety of our visitors and the safety and care of our animals is our highest priority,” the park said.
“Subsequent to this incident we’ve gone through all the correct procedures – it was immediately reported to BIAZA (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and to the local authority.”
“We have conducted an internal review to establish exactly what happened and to ensure this does not happen again.”
“We have implemented new operating produces and staff training.”