Dundee wildlife centre closes after monkey death

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Macaque monkeys at Camperdown Wildlife Centre.

Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee has closed to the public following the death of one of its monkeys.

Bosses said the move was intended to allow its troop of lion-tailed macaques to grieve after one of their youngsters died on Friday.

The monkeys arrived in Dundee at the end of October and have been a hit with visitors to the park,

A statement posted on the zoo’s Facebook page said the animals required time to come to terms with the death – a process that involves “guarding and preening” the body of the animal.

The statement said: “Lion-tailed macaques are a highly social species and as part of their natural grieving process have been guarding and preening this youngster which will help the whole group come to terms with their loss.

“The closure today will lead in to the new year holidays where we will reopen on Thursday January 4. Many thanks to everyone who has passed on their concerns during this difficult time.”

Dozens of people posted messages of condolence on the zoo’s Facebook page.

The troop of four males and seven females arrived at Camperdown from Belfast Zoo in October.

The monkeys are classed as endangered and the total wild population is estimated to be fewer than 4,000 individuals, made up of 47 isolated sub-populations in seven different locations in southern Indian, predominantly in the Western Ghat hill ranges.

Lion-tailed macaques prefer to live in the upper branches of trees in tropical, evergeen rainforest but Dundee has proved to be a comfortable alternative for the Camperdown troop.

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