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Monkey on the loose returns to Howletts in Canterbury

A missing monkey has arrived home in time for Christmas.

Tamil, the lion-tailed macaque, disappeared from his enclosure at Howletts Wild Animal Park on Wednesday morning.

Zookeepers and staff left a trail of fruit and nuts to entice him back and he was located late on Thursday in woodland close to the park boundary.

A lion-tailed macaque
A lion-tailed macaque

The veterinary teams continued to monitor Tamil's whereabouts and were able to successfully sedate him to bring him back home for Christmas.

It emerged yesterday that Tamil may have been fighting with members of his group, which led to his escape.

Animal Director Adrian Harland said: "We have recently sent three groups of grizzled leaf monkeys to Java for reintroduction to the wild.

"So, to reduce family tensions, there is now space to move some macaques out of our large and very successful group of this endangered species.

"We would like to thank all of our followers that have shown their support over social media."

Howletts Wild Animal Park
Howletts Wild Animal Park

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 escapees 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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