St Patrick’s Day shenanigans with the Barbary Macaques

The Barbary Macaques troop at Woburn Safari Park received an early visit from some mischievous visitors, who came bearing shamrock-shaped enrichment treats for them ahead of St Patrick’s Day.

Although wary of the cheeky counterparts to begin with, Berlinga led the way and soon the troop were gathering to check out their green-clad keepers.  

Born on the 29th April 2003, Berlinga is an old but confident and bold individual in the troop and so it came as no surprise to keepers that he was first over to inspect their green top hats, beards and St Patrick’s inspired treats. 

But while the keepers-come-leprechauns didn’t show the troop the way to their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they did bring with them some shamrock shaped goodies which Berlinga, and the rest of the troop, had great delight in tucking into.

Made from their favourite foods, the enrichment treats consisted of both biscuits and a huge shamrock-shaped cake.

St Patricks Day Barbary Monkeys

But the food wasn’t all that caught the attention of the Barbary’s; as, much like the leprechauns, the troop are well-known for their cheekiness, with some particularly keen to try their luck at grabbing themselves their own stylish top hat.  

Barbary’s are an endangered species but the ever-growing troop at Woburn can be seen roaming freely within the African Forest on the Road Safari and their natural curiosity makes them a popular species among visitors. They can often be seen climbing the trees, foraging through log piles, hitching a ride on the bonnets of vehicles and generally playing as primates are known to do!

Aimee Hill, Animal Keeper, said: “Nutrition is a key part in the monkey’s enrichment and presenting their favourite foods in a shamrock shape really helped to highlight the natural curiosity of the Barbary Macaques. They were all a bit wary to begin with but it was no surprise that Berlinga was first over to take a look; he is a firm favourite here at the Park and he often leads the way for the rest of the troop. All of the monkeys have their own individual characteristics and you could definitely see that in the different ways that they interacted with us, our hats and the food!”