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Monkey escapes Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury

A monkey is on the loose after escaping its enclosure at Howletts Wild Animal Park.

Keepers and specialist vets are on standby to “contain” the lion tailed macaque after it disappeared without trace from the popular attraction near Canterbury.

Keepers have confirmed the male primate, called Tamil, left the boundaries of the park after vanishing at some point on Tuesday night and has not been seen since.

A lion-tailed macaque
A lion-tailed macaque

Members of the public are warned not to approach the male primate, though animal director Adrian Harland has sought to reassure those living nearby that he is not considered a threat.

A Howletts spokesman said: "A young male lion tailed macaque is currently out of his enclosure at Howletts and keepers have confirmed that the monkey has left the park boundary.

"Kent Police and the council have been informed, whilst keepers and vets are on standby to safely contain the animal.

A lion-tailed macaque
A lion-tailed macaque

"Whilst the macaque is outside the wild animal park, public have been asked to report any sightings to Howletts on 01227 723 900."

There have been no reported sightings of the escaped animal which was thought to have been housed in an open-topped pen.

Macaques are fruit and seed eating primates native to South India and are characterised by their white manes.

In November 2013 a macaque escaped from Howletts when keepers entered the enclosure to vaccinate the occupants.

Others escapes from the park include a tiger that was shot dead after breaking free from its enclosure in December 2001.

And in February 2009, a pack of eight wild hunting dogs called dholes escaped from the park.

Seven of the animals had to be shot, while another died after being hit by a train near Bekesbourne.

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