THE search continues for three missing Japanese macaques.
Just over a month ago, three sick animals escaped from a private enclosure in Guardamar del Segura, and despite the Local Police and the Guardia Civil setting traps for them and keeping an eye out, they’ve yet to be captured.
According to a report in the Spanish media, this is the second time that these primates, which were caged at the time, have been able to escape. It’s understood that the animals – a mother and her two young offspring also known as the snow monkey – could be a health hazard to humans in extreme cases by transmitting a number of diseases. They are also suffering from leukaemia.
The escape of these primates has only just been made public in an attempt to get more people looking out for them and to get them back safely under lock and key as soon as possible.
There have been a number of recent sightings. One was in a fruit orchard close to Rojales and another was near to a Chinese restaurant on the N-332.
Animal experts said that the fact the Japanese macaques are excellent swimmers make it highly likely that they have used the nearby river to move around, finding shelter in the empty spaces of commercial areas where there is food available in bins discarded from restaurants.
If the search efforts are successful, the missing macaques – together with four others that a kept in cages – will travel to Berlin Zoo from where they came from originally.
It is also understood that Guardamar Town Council has been attempting for more than a year to close down the animal enclosure due to the evident lack of security.