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Last Updated: Thursday July 27 2006 16:22 GMT

Cheeky monkeys escape from zoo!

Betty, a black-capped squirrel monkey from Bolivia, leaps from a tree in Regents Park, London,
Squirrel monkey Betty leaps for freedom
A group of cheeky little monkeys escaped from London Zoo by climbing up tall trees and leaping into next-door Regent's Park.

But their happy antics were watched closely by zoo keepers as they jumped between the park and the zoo.

A spokeswoman said: "They are coming in and out and being a bit cheeky really."

The 12 squirrel monkeys were in trouble earlier this year when they started stealing visitors' mobile phones - and had to be trained to leave them alone.

A squirrel monkey gets his hands on a mobile phone.
The monkeys were fond of pinching visitors' mobiles
Zoo bosses said that they were taking steps to stop the monkeys escaping.

A spokeswoman said: "Squirrel monkeys are not a dangerous animal - their enclosure is a walk-through exhibit - and they pose no threat to the public."

The monkeys will return to their enclosure for their food, she added.

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