Friday, July 24, 2009

Safari park baboons ransack cars after learning to break into luggage boxes

A group of tearaway baboons are wreaking havoc on a safari park after learning to crack open rooftop luggage boxes and escaping with visitors' goods.Keepers at Knowsley Safari Park have been forced to issue warnings after the opportunistic primates developed a taste for human possessions.
The cheeky monkeys - who are known for tearing off the odd wiper or wing mirror - have been targeting cars carrying the roof boxes before pouncing on the unsuspecting visitors, who are forced to watch helplessly as their things disappear.

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Now bosses at the Merseyside park have slapped the artful animals with what they call 'Anti Social Baboon Orders' and have warned visitors not to travel through the infamous monkey jungle with luggage on their roof.
Safari Park general manager, David Ross, said when the first luggage box was broken into, staff didn't really take much notice as they thought it was a one-off incident.But they soon realised they had a problem on their hands when visitors reported the pesky primates kept stealing their things.

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The baboons have discovered a knack for opening the luggage boxes, forcing staff to warn visitors against entering the enclosure with the roof-top devices

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'Their technique involves the largest baboons jumping up and down on the box, flexing it until the lock bursts open, then the rest of the baboons pile in to see what they can find,' Mr Ross said. 'Obviously, we're well used to them helping themselves to the odd wing mirror or wiper blade, but this has taken things to a whole new level.
'Let's face it, nobody wants to see a baboon running up a tree with their underwear.'
But Mr Ross said some visitors continued to ignore the warnings and paid a high price.
There are currently more than 140 baboons at Knowsley Safari Park and visitor surveys consistently show them to be the attraction's most popular exhibit.

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The primates all scramble to get their paws on visitor's possessions

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Monkey see, monkey steal: The baboons swarm the car and ransack the roof box

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Nothing is safe from the cheeky monkeys who will take just about anything, including underwear

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