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Public urged to report monkey feeding

Feeding Gibraltar’s Barbary macaques is a crime – but one that appears to happen regularly at some of the Rock’s tourist sites.

This photograph was taken at the top of the Rock last week and shows a monkey climbing on a tourist’s shoulders while being fed by a local guide. It is not an uncommon sight.

Now, the Gibraltar Government is urging tourists and locals alike to pick up the phone and make a report if they see people feeding macaques.

“Anyone witnessing such action is encouraged to report the incident to the RGP,” a government spokesman said.

The feeding of macaques is a criminal offence, subject to on-the-spot fines.

But the law is barely enforced.

The spokesman for the Gibraltar Government said that to date “no fines have been levied” against taxi drivers or tour operators regarding the feeding of macaques on the Upper Rock.

“It is worth pointing out the obvious - that feeding of macaques usually stops whenever staff from Department of the Environment are known to be in the vicinity,” he said.

In addition, “no fines have been collected” from tourists for feeding the macaques but “a formal warning has been issued to one individual by the RGP.”

The government spokesman added that monitoring of macaque sites by the Department of the Environment and Climate Change would continue.