Fugitive monkey shot with tranquiliser after being spotted eating from birdfeeder


A monkey that has been on the run from a Highland wildlife park has been captured.

The Japanese macaque named Honshu – nicknamed Kingussie Kong – escaped from his enclosure at Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie on Sunday morning.

A major search was launched for the monkey, and on Thursday the animal was shot with a tranquiliser dart after being spotted eating from a bird feeder in a garden.

Footage has shown Honshu back at the park, and he will be checked by a vet before being reintroduced to his group.

Escaped monkey seen sitting on a garden fence in Scotland
Image: Honshu went missing on Sunday. Pic: Carl Nagle

Keith Gilchrist, living collections operations manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said: “We can confirm we have successfully caught the macaque that escaped from the park on Sunday, named Honshu.

“After a call to our hotline just after 10am, our keepers and drone team made their way to a member of the public’s garden where the monkey was eating from a bird feeder and successfully used a tranquiliser dart to catch him.

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“The monkey is on the way back to the park with our keepers where he will be looked over by one of our vet team and reintroduced to sub-adult males within the group.

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“We want to thank everyone who has helped during the process and will continue to share any further updates.”

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Honshu was spotted via a drone

After escaping at the weekend, Honshu was seen sitting on a garden fence and taking nuts from a bird feeder in the nearby village of Kincraig.

Carl Nagle, who spotted the monkey on Sunday, told Sky News the animal disappeared into the trees before the keepers appeared.

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Local villagers were urged to hide their outdoor food waste bins and bird feeders in an effort to encourage the monkey to head home.

A drone was used in the search and experts were able to follow Honshu for 45 minutes on Tuesday using the device, though were not able to retrieve him that day.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) – which runs the park – had said Honshu was unlikely to pose a threat to the public or pets, but advised people not to approach him.

The Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey, is the most northerly living non-human primate, according to the RZSS.

The wildlife park houses a “large group” of the monkeys after successfully breeding the species.