Runaway monkey is shot by tranquilliser dart after running off

A RUNAWAY monkey was shot with tranquilliser darts by staff from Edinburgh Zoo after making his second bid for freedom in four months.

Four-year-old Yousef broke from his cage at the city's attraction, having had a dispute with an older monkey who was introduced to the enclosure last week – and ended up on a hotel roof a mile away.

Scaling an electric fence, the Barbary Macaque escaped on Thursday night and was discovered outside his enclosure on Friday morning, sitting in a tree, but he fled the scene before staff were able to catch him.

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He was only found by experts on Saturday morning after a member of the public spotted him at the Capital Hotel in Clermiston at around 8am.

Hotel manager Claire Steven said: "There were a few people watching from windows to see what would happen to the monkey. It created quite an excitement."

Yousef is understood to have leapt from lamppost to lamppost once he fled the zoo, managing to negotiate busy traffic in the area to get to his safe resting place where he began leaping around, much to the curiosity of guests.

Zoo staff were quick to get to the scene, armed with tranquillisers they would attempt to use to make sure the monkey could be brought back to his home

After Yousef was shot, monkey keeper Lorna Hughes then scaled the roof to bring the unconscious animal down.

Ms Steven said she had no idea the monkey was at the hotel until the zoo team arrived in reception.

She said: "They told us a monkey had escaped and was on our roof.

"They initially tried to call it down but then decided that darting it was the only way they were going to catch it.

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"Because the monkey was leaping around, the first dart missed, but the second one hit him and after that the female keeper climbed on to the roof and carried him away."

Yousef and five friends caused alarm at the zoo in July when they successfully escaped while being moved to a new enclosure.

Parts of the zoo had to be closed to the public while the animals were recaptured by staff.

Barbary Macaque monkeys are inquisitive animals who experts insist pose no threat to the public.

No one from the zoo was available for comment.

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