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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020
Baboons have been armed with knives, screwdrivers and even chainsaws at Knowsley safari park, Merseyside Credit: Rex Features

SAFARI park baboons were seen armed with knives, screwdrivers and a CHAINSAW as workers fear pranksters gave them weapons to wreck cars.

The primates at Knowsley safari park, Merseyside, are long known to pounce on anyone pausing in the enclosure and ripping off a windscreen wiper or mirror.

Workers now fear they are being armed with the lethal weapons "for a laugh" by visitors to bolster their attacks and the apes have even been seen rummaging around toolboxes themselves.

One park worker told The Sunday Times: “We’re not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they’re fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans.

"They will literally go into people’s toolboxes and carry them around. One of the baboons was seen lugging around a chainsaw.”

Another worker said: “The baboons have been found with knives and screwdrivers. I do wonder if it’s some of the guests handing them out.”

And the baboon attacks are so inevitable that mechanics across the northwest of England have come to know the enclosure well.

One mechanic in Sale, Greater Manchester said people know what to expect at the park and that he has had two customers fall victim to the baboons this year.

They added that one minute kids want monkeys on the car and the next it has no registration plate - but the issue provides "good money" for the garage.

Knowsley reopened on June 15 with Covid-19 security measures after insisting it was as safe as a McDonald’s drive-through as visitors do not leave their car on the five mile safari drive.

The 550-acre park, home to lions, tigers, rhinos, wildebeest and camels, dismissed reports of armed apes as an urban myth.

A spokesperson said: “We believe many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they’ve been retold, with embellishment to make the objects that are sometimes found in the enclosure seem more exciting and unbelievable."

In 2012 car manufacturer Hyundai let 40 monkeys from the park loose on its New Generation i30 model for 10 hours to prove it had the strength for families with small children.


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