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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Monkey gangs steal England flags
Baboon with flag
The safari park baboons now prefer pinching flags to windscreen wipers
A safari park in Merseyside is urging patriotic football fans to remove England flags from their vehicles to stop gangs of baboons pinching them.

Bosses at Knowsley Safari Park say the 120-strong troop of baboons usually swipe windscreen wipers but have turned to stealing World Cup flags instead.

Safari Park general manager David Ross said: "Many people are wisely removing them before going on the safari drive.

"If they forget the baboons usually take them."

According to Mr Ross, the baboons have built up quite a stash.

He added: "Visitors are certainly enjoying their antics with the flags as it does look like they are showing their support for the efforts of the England team.

"The baboons have always been great fun but they are the vandals of the animal world.

"Our advice to England fans is to remove their flags before they arrive or to use the alternative car-friendly route around the outside of the monkey jungle."

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