‘Monkey drive-through’ opens at Blair Drummond Safari Park

Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA
Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA
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Scotland’s only monkey drive-through has opened at Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Visitors can now get up close and personal with a troop of 30 Barbary macaques at the park near Stirling.

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a  photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

Nature lovers have been warned to keep their windows, doors and roof boxes firmly shut as they drive through the five-acre reserve.

Park manager Gary Gilmour said: “The macaques are very inquisitive and will investigate novel items.

“For those not brave enough to take a car through, we have a bypass in place and you can see the macaques through the viewing windows of their building.”

The monkeys are known as the the Middle Hill Troop having previously lived between the top of Gibraltar rock and the town, where their expanding population had begun to cause problems for local residents.

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a  photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

The troop arrived at the park in October last year as an alternative to lethal control.

Barbary macaques are listed as endangered and the monkeys are being cared for at the park as part of a breeding group, with young and newborn already on view.

Head keeper Craig Holmes said: “The macaques have settled in really well, when visitors drive round they’ll see the macaques spread throughout the reserve.

“We keep the reserve somewhat overgrown to encourage natural behaviour and enrich the life of our macaques.

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a  photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

“We have researchers studying the behaviour of our troop so we can compare them to their wild counterparts and also ensure the welfare of our troop is monitored and improving all the time.”

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a  photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a  photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

To mark the opening of the reserve and as a bit of fun for the monkeys, a photo opportunity was staged to show what can happen and as a reminder for visitors to remain in their cars with their windows, doors and luggage racks firmly shut. Picture: PA

Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA

Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA

Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA

Sasha Muir and Margaret Davidson sit in a car as some of the thirty Barbary macaques known as The 'Middle Hill Troop' show what happens when car drivers forget to lock their luggage compartment. Picture: PA