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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Red Arrows adopt monkey
red arrows
Red Arrows: "Terribly sorry"

The RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic team has adopted a red monkey after their jets scared animals at a zoo.

The team, usually based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, is currently carrying out pre-season rehearsals from RAF St Mawgan, near Newquay in Cornwall.

Lemur monkeys at Newquay Zoo high-tailed it to the trees when nine of the Red Arrows' Hawk aircraft roared overhead at about 1,000 feet.

The monkeys, which had been allowed to roam free range, had to be persuaded down from the trees.

Zoo director Mike Thomas, said: "I telephoned St Mawgan and they said they were terribly sorry."

Three of the the Red Arrows pilots called in to the zoo to "adopt" one of the lemurs.

Mr Thomas, said: "It will be one of the females which, appropriately, are red."

A St Mawgan base spokesman said the monkey was to be given its own team call sign of "Red 12".

Practice sessions would be held off the coast for the rest of this week.

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