Tuesday 24 April 2018

Fugitive monkey who made dash for freedom in Cork returns home

Cheeky Chops makes his bid for freedom at Fota Wildlife Park. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Cheeky Chops makes his bid for freedom at Fota Wildlife Park. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
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. 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.

Irish Independent

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