Saturday, February 09, 2008

Escaped Monkey Shot Dead In Edinburgh Zoo Rabies Alert

escaped rabid monkeyA monkey has been shot at Edinburgh Zoo after escaping from a rabies quarantine, it has emerged.

Visitors were moved to safety following the incident which saw zoo keepers attempt to dart the Barbary macaque before being forced to kill it.

The incident happened at 1400 GMT on Tuesday while the zoo was open.

Iain Valentine, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's head of animals, said it was a "regrettable situation" but people were the "primary concern".

He said: "Any visitors were escorted from the premises or taken to a secure location.

"In compliance with the Zoo Licensing Act and the Secretary of State for Modern Zoo Practices, we have robust procedures in place to deal with an escape situation.

"The animal concerned was in rabies quarantine at the time and we therefore had to act quickly to ensure public safety.

"We made several attempts to dart the animal but unfortunately we had to take the decision to shoot it as we were losing light and there was a chance we could have lost sight of it."

Seerad (Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department) and Lothian and Borders Police were informed, with both organisations "content" the situation was handled correctly.

Story here.

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