Dundee’s Camperdown Wildlife Centre has thanked supporters for their “heart-warming” response after the attraction was closed following the death of a young monkey.
The lion-tailed macaque died last Friday, prompting bosses to close the popular site until Thursday to allow the rest of the troop time to come to terms with their loss.
Animal-lovers from across the world expressed their sadness about the news but commended the park’s managers for protecting the welfare of residents.
Camperdown Wildlife Centre’s conservation network manager Bradley Yule said the closure was an “easy decision”.
He said: “We have had a heartwarming response through our social media pages from all over the world and this shows that our visitors and social media followers are extremely interested in how we manage our animals in Dundee.
“As the wellbeing of all of our animals will always be our main priority, the closure of the Wildlife Centre was an easy decision for us to make.
“We have now opened the centre and our macaques have again enjoyed being the centre of attention with all of our visitors.”
The troop of four males and seven females arrived from Belfast Zoo in October last year and have proved popular with visitors.
They are classed as an endangered species with the total wild population estimated to be fewer than 4,000 individuals, scattered across seven different locations in southern India.
They prefer to live in family or same sexed groups and will continually perform bonding exercises during every day life
As part of the “grieving” process, the Camperdown monkeys continued to preen and care for the youngster until the group “came to terms” with its death.
Mr Yule added: “In deaths, the behaviour is still caring and preening and involvement until the group understands and comes to terms with this member no longer being able to respond to their actions.
“This process is vital for stability and maintaining the strong bonds between each member of the group.
“In our case, we felt that giving our group some time without any distractions would be the best approach to allow our group of macaques to carry out this process.
“Since last Friday, we have closely observed the behaviour of our animals and the caring, preening and comforting of their youngster was evident and this slowly diminished over the days until they accepted that they had one less member in their family.”
The macaque has now been removed by the centre’s keepers so a full post-mortem examination can take place.