THE BARBARY APES OF GIBRALTAR
These are the only wild monkeys in the entire continent of Europe. Originally from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and named for Moroccan Berbers, they stowed away on various ships of Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabs centuries ago and made themselves at home on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Although locally called apes as they are tailless, they are a kind of monkey called a macaque. There are some 300 living on the Upper Rock today in five “troops.” Originally looked after by the British Army under an Officer of the Apes, their health and population is now managed by the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic.
They stay contentedly up on the Rock and are rarely seen down in the town below. You can approach them and seem to love to pose for photos, but don’t get too close. These are wild critters and may bite if alarmed. With that caution, you’ll have no problem, and enjoy being around them. One more thing that makes a visit to the Rock of Gibraltar so fascinating. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #245 photo ©Jack Wheeler)