Shady monkeys steal zoo visitors’ sunglasses
Thursday 7 April 2011
ZSL London Zoo’s mischievous Bolivian squirrel monkeys are fast becoming fashionistas this spring – after keepers discovered them stealing visitors’ sunglasses.
The cheeky primates who live in the Zoo’s Meet the Monkeys walk through exhibit have been making a grab for peoples’ sunglasses since the sun first came out last week and they are causing so much of a problem that keepers have decided to train them not to be so on trend.
The group of 18, who live in a no barrier enclosure, will be given sunglasses with bitter apple smeared on them this Thursday in a bid to stop them from being so light-fingered this summer.
It’s not the first time the pesky primates have taken a like to visitors’ belongings; four years ago keepers also had put the squirrel monkeys a short mobile phone training programme – to discourage them from stealing peoples’ phones.
Mammals South Team Leader, Tracey Lee says, “We’ve found Ray-Bans and aviator sunglasses already and with more good weather approaching we think it’s a good idea to train the monkeys not to pinch people’s sunglasses.
“They don’t like the taste of anything sour so we are going to put bitter apple on the sunglasses - we hope this will be enough to keep visitors’ eyewear safe this summer.”
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