School pupils enjoy a little monkey magic

One of the monkeys that escaped from Belfast Zoo last week turned up in the grounds of Ben Madigan Preparatory School on the Antrim Road.
One of the monkeys that escaped from Belfast Zoo last week turned up in the grounds of Ben Madigan Preparatory School on the Antrim Road.
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A very special visitor popped into Hazelwood Integrated Primary and Ben Madigan Prep School last week - a little macaque monkey.

The monkey was one of a group of six lion-tailed macaques that escaped from their enclosure at Belfast Zoo on Monday, October 21. Four were quickly recaptured, but two went on the run.

This picture of one of the macaques sitting in a tree in the grounds of Ben Madigan was taken by teacher Philip Ingram, who said that staff and pupils had enjoyed watching the monkey eating berries and checking out its new surroundings.

The two missing macaques were spotted several times in north Belfast and Newtownabbey last week.

One paid a visit to Hazelwood Integrated Primary on the Whitewell Road where children enticed it down from a fence by offering it bananas. However, it took the bananas and made off before zoo staff arrived.

One of the escapees was finally recaptured on Friday (October 25) near Gideon’s Green after zoo staff shot it with a tranquilliser gun.

The one monkey still at large poses no risk to members of the public, according to zoo staff. But anyone who spots it is asked to contact the team at Belfast Zoo on 028 9077 6277.