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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Man rescues baby monkey from tree
Rhesus monkey
Rhesus monkeys live in India, Afghanistan, Thailand and China
A man rescued a baby rhesus macaque monkey from a tree in his garden - by coaxing it down with a banana.

Marty Wright, 39, did not believe his wife Lucy when she said she had spotted the animal in the tree at their house in Beaminster, Dorset on Sunday.

Mr Wright contacted the RSPCA who advised him to try to tempt the shy monkey down.

He used the fruit to attract the animal - thought to be about six months old - and brought it into his home.

The couple looked after the monkey until it was collected by staff from the Wildlife Park at Cricket St Thomas in Chard, Somerset, an hour later.

It is still not known where it came from.

I got out a banana and kept a low profile
Marty Wright

Mr Wright said his wife had been watching birds when she discovered the baby rhesus.

The motor engineer said at first he did not believe her: "My wife said to me 'Look, quick, there's a monkey in the tree'.

"I just thought it wasn't very likely but then I looked through the binoculars and, sure enough, there was a monkey in the tree.

"I kept very quiet, I got my wife to stay back. I got out a banana and kept a low profile.

"He very gingerly came towards me.

"His front feet were just on the base of my wrist, his back feet were still clinging on to the branches of the tree, I could just very gently pry him out of the tree."

Laboratory monkey

Mr Wright took the rhesus into their front room while a neighbour contacted the wildlife park.

He said: "He was squawking a bit when I grabbed him out of the tree but he was quite happy in the front room jumping around everywhere, off the curtain pole onto the speakers."

Park staff said the monkey was well-fed but they were at a loss as to his origins.

"Obviously because it's a monkey you have to have a licence to keep them so whether someone had him illegally and let him go, we just don't know," Mr Wright said.

"Or he may have been liberated from a laboratory because they are used quite prolifically for experimentation.

"It's a bit of a mystery really."


SEE ALSO
Scientists decode macaque genome
13 Apr 07 |  Science/Nature

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