Wednesday 18 July 2018

'Cheeky Chops' swings safely back to his troop in Fota Wildlife Park

Stock photo of a Colobus monkey
Stock photo of a Colobus monkey
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

A FUGITIVE Colobus monkey that escaped from Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has returned home.

The monkey, named Cheeky Chops, broke free from the confines of the park earlier in the week.

When they realised Cheeky was missing rangers in the park “immediately implemented” escape protocol, according to Fota marketing manager Róisín Fitzgerald.

Thankfully, Cheeky Chops didn’t venture too far and was soon spotted hanging upside down in a tree in the car park of the centre.

He spent another night in a toilet at the park and was also seen hopping along rooftops.

Rather than chase the monkey and risk scaring him, the rangers patiently waited for him to return to his enclosure by offering him an assortment of snack . Their patience paid off when Cheeky Chops ambled back to his troop.

Colobus monkeys are originally from the cool mountain forests of Kenya.

They live mostly in treetops and eat fruits, vegetables and willow branches.

They’re known for the black and white colouring and usually range between 18 and 27 inches long, not counting their tails.

Fota Wildlife Park was opened in 1983 by the then president of Ireland, Dr Patrick Hillery.

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