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Monkey that went on the run moved to Edinburgh zoo for a ‘fresh start’

A monkey that went on the run from a wildlife park for more than five days has been moved to Edinburgh Zoo after not settling back into park life with his fellow primates.

Honshu, a seven-year-old Japanese macaque, escaped from the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kincraig, last month. He was captured after a local living near the park spotted the monkey in her garden.

Now the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), which runs the wildlife park, said Honshu had been moved to its Edinburgh Zoo to give him a fresh start.

The monkey has been accompanied by three other males from his troop.

‘Primate group dynamics can be very complex, especially in a situation like this where an individual is separated from the troop for an extended period of time,’ said Darren McGarry, head of living collections at RZSS.

‘Honshu is also of the age when macaques disperse or move away, so it would have been very difficult to reintroduce him to his wider family.

‘Instead, we want to create a new, mini-troop for him, comprised of three other male macaques of similar age – just like with our giraffes. Thankfully they have settled in well together at the park and are now being moved to their new home at the zoo.

Keith Gilchrist, living collections operations manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said: ‘We were amazed by the level of interest in Honshu’s escape from across the globe but our only priority throughout the process was to secure his safe return.

‘I’m glad to say that thanks largely to the expertise of the team involved in his recapture, as well as a groundswell of support from the local community, we were able to do just that. Now it’s time for Honshu’s next chapter.’

The monkeys will stay indoors for the first few days before being able to explore the outdoor area of their new enclosure, opposite the zoo’s red river hogs.

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